Rebellion

The Shipyard Strikes in Poland and the Birth of Solidarność in August 1980

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Anna Machcewicz
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"Rebellion" is the multi-threaded, fascinating story about a rebellion that changed Poland. It begins when the authorities promised a better life after the bloody suppression of the strike in December 1970. The availability of goods increased, the world seemed closer. Yet rebellion had come. This book provides the reader for the first time with the full story of the Great Strike of August 1980, the center of which was located in the Gdańsk Shipyard. The same slogans and demands, however, were made by protesters in Szczecin, Elbląg, Kraków, Łódź, Wrocław, Silesia and dozens of other places across Poland. The eyes of the world were on Gdańsk, and the agreement signed in the light of the cameras, in which the communist authorities were forced to make concessions, was celebrated by Poles all over the country. From the very beginning, the strike demands were not only a fight for bread, but also a fight for the dignity of the worker. However, the most important thing was the creation of a new community. The authorities had to either yield or call for help from foreign troops and chose a compromise. Many days of negotiations with the strikers resulted in an agreement that started a new chapter in Polish history.

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Anna Machcewicz PhD is a historian and journalist. She worked in the Polish History Museum and the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising, but also as a freelance journalist with Polish public TV, the BBC and the newspapers Polityka, Tygodnik Powszechny, and Newsweek. She is currently affiliated with the Institute of Political Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw.
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