14 August, 2010

30 Years Ago Today

On this day in 1980, Lech Walesa led labor strikes in the Gdansk shipyards against the Soviet-backed Communist government in Poland, forming the first independent (non-government run) trade union in Eastern Europe -- Solidarity (Polish: Solidarnosc) -- and ultimately challenging Communist authoritarian rule. It was the first visible crack in the Iron Curtain that the Soviets couldn't stop (well, brutally suppress with tanks and firing squads), and was the first domino to fall that would result nine years later in the complete collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe.

Solidarnosc still lives on.

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