Festival of the Oppressed: Solidarity, Reform and Revolution in Poland, 1980-81

Festival of the Oppressed: Solidarity, Reform and Revolution in Poland, 1980-81

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By Colin Barker

On the night of 13 December 1981 the Polish military moved in to suppress the independent trade union, Solidarity. It had existed less than sixteen months, but during that brief time Solidarity had proved itself the most impressive working-class movement the world had seen for well over half a century. Its suppression was an event of immense international significance.

No less significant was Solidarity itself. For the Polish workers' movement had vividly and dramatically revealed the possibilities open to an advanced working class when it challenges the structures of domination in modern society. Solidarity was a movement with enormous revolutionary potential, whose experiences we need to assimilate.

In this book, Colin Barker sets out to recapture both the magnificent achievements of the Polish workers, and the causes of their tremendous setback. We have not yet heard the last of Solidarity. It is essential that we understand it.