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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

New exhibit on Polish Solidarity movement opens at UMass


Polish immigrants, Polish Americans and community members alike gathered at the University of Massachusetts’ W.E.B. DuBois Library last Wednesday to witness the unveiling of “Human Solidarity, Polish Solidarność” – an exhibit honoring the 30th anniversary of the country’s Solidarity movement, which helped lead to the installation of a democratic government.

The exhibit, which previously was on display at both Stony Brook University and Yale University, is composed of 20 plates – consisting of photographs, newspaper clippings and other artifacts – that detail the history of the Solidarity movement. Some of the plates feature pivotal figures in the development of the movement  – such as Anna Walentynowicz, a woman that became well-known for standing up against her dismissal from a job at the Gdansk Shipyard, who died in a plane crash last year along with the country’s president.

The Solidarity movement in Poland has its roots in the strikes that took place at the Gdansk Shipyard in 1980 – where, according to the BBC, workers demanded more rights and higher pay from the communist-controlled government. The movement played a large role in the country’s political scene in the following years, and contributed to the sanctioning of free elections in the country in 1989.

Polish Consul General Ewa Junczyk-Ziomecka, who was a journalist in the country during the Gdansk Shipyard strikes, was the guest of honor at last Wednesday’s  unveiling – which was in part put together by Robert Rothstein, a professor of Judaic and Slavic studies and comparative literature, and his wife, Galena. Junczyk-Ziomecka spoke about witnessing the events that unfolded at Gdansk, but not being able to publish any stories on them – because government officials censored her and her fellow journalists.

Additionally, Junczyk-Ziomecka spoke about the development of the Solidarity movement.

“When I’m thinking about Solidarity, I think about an act of modern opposition,” she said. “However, at the beginning it was not yet politics. The effectiveness of this protest depended on public opinion in Western countries, in democratic countries. That opinion was shaped by foreign journalists.

One attendee of the event asked Junczyk-Ziomecka how Solidarity is taught in Polish schools today.

“First of all, there are still leaders of Solidarity among us,” she replied. “They are witnesses, so they can talk about it, which is very much appreciated by the school system.

“This personal contact is always so important for the young generations, even if they believe we are from the Stone Age,” she added.

In addition, Junczyk-Ziomecka also commented on the current state of Poland’s economy.

“The prices are going up,” she said. “Two weeks ago, my mother told me in Warsaw that, ‘You know, we are buying sugar,’ and I said, ‘Mom, what do you need the sugar for?’ and she said, ‘Well, the price is going up, but they said that you can’t buy more than 10 kilos.’ So the generation before ours still remembers what happened  – that the prices would go up so high.”

Junczyk-Ziomecka also spoke about the condition of the Euro – the most common form of currency in Europe – and Poland’s current stance on the monetary system.

“Who is in the better shape? Those who joined Euro or those who [didn’t]?” she asked. “So according to the economies, we are not in that bad [of a] situation because we are not with [the] Euro. But [the] situation goes in the direction that in a total account of the situation that all of the European countries will have the same currency, so we are thinking about in two years [joining] the Euro.”

Additionally, when asked about Polish culture’s resistance to communism, Junczyk-Ziomecka noted, “Polish culture was always in good shape because Polish people are perfect masters to be against [communism] and to ride against something, against the government, against other people. There is so much poetry about it and so [many] novels about it and films about it… to be against and to fight, it’s wonderful.”

Junczyk-Ziomecka also spoke on the effects of Solidarity in Polish culture today.

“When the Solidarity won, when the communists collapsed, suddenly our writers, our Poles, had nothing to say,” she said. “What is there to say about the good news? For example, look now. Such a terrible crash, the plane crash that happened a year ago. There is only two movies made, and they are mostly propaganda, but there is not drama.”

In addition to Junczyk-Ziomecka, Dr. Robert Cox, the head of the W.E.B. DuBois Library’s special collections unit, spoke at the unveiling of the exhibit about what his department collects and why it chose to bring “Human Solidarity, Polish Solidarność” to UMass.

“We collect things related to the University here,” Cox said. “We collect materials relating to Western Massachusetts, and then we actually do have rich collections for Polish immigrant communities from the 1890s-forward here at UMass.”

Cox also said his unit wants to expand upon its collection of items about social change.

“When we talk about social change in special collections, we think about groups and people who try to change the world,” he said. “People who look around and see social injustice and try to correct it, or people who think of new ways to manage society for the better of all.

“When Bob and Galena [Rothstein] came to us a few years ago with a possibility of adding this massive Polish collection, it immediately struck me that this was square in the middle of our social change mission,” said Cox.

“The Solidarity collection still forms a critical core for the way we see our collections evolving,” Cox added. “We believe that as this becomes more and more distant in history, as the Solidarity movement moves back farther in time, we’re going to see more and more historical research into the movement, and more and more use of it for contemporary movements for social change as well.”

The Polish Solidarity exhibit will continue to be on display through May in W.E.B. DuBois Library’s learning commons.

Karissa Hamblet can be reached at [email protected].

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  • R

    Rider IJun 19, 2011 at 12:09 am

    Communist China has an illegal cartel and anti trust violation strangle hold on the worlds resources.

    Currently the Communist Chinese are using a string of illegal international violations of cartels in their SOE’s. Which is run owned and managed by a single entity the SASAC specifically for their intelligence agency the MSS. They have been able to accumulate over 97% of the worlds rare earth resources. Not because they are the only one’s with them. But, because they are constantly grabbing up foreign lands resources, so they can control the world’s supply chain lines through their cartels and illegal anti trust violations.

    Please read the Book Death By China Confronting the Dragon A Global Call to Action

    We need all small countries in the area of Asia to stop this world resourced domination conquest.

    The Cycle of World Economic Conquest.

    Before, countries where smaller and more separated. We saw the world conquest based on the necessity of resources like gold, water, humans for slaves etc. In which was used new high technological weapons like metallurgy or otherwise to conquer as much land as they could get before they felt they went far enough. However, in today’s world we see a different kind of economic world conquest. In which we saw countries become obsessed with centralizing power and economy to a single entity. So that single entity could thrive outwards and find more resources so they could become richer and more wealthier. Much similar to the old kingdoms of old. However, instead of using new weapons they used new ways of diplomacy and economic advancements.

    In which we saw the German Socialist party use such economic advancements as cartel systems and the monopolization of resources to specific single managed entities under the power of the party. Which allowed them to control the management of resources without any competition of fair spread of wealth among their people. This then allowed them to be able to build more military might for the spread of their single parties power and economic dominance. As such, these economic advancements where seen by many as atrocities to the power sharing and individual freedoms that Democracy and Free Markets represent.

    Then we saw the Soviet Union. Which took the economic advancement of world conquest one step further. Which instead of just centralizing the resources to SOE’s and single management. They centralized the whole economy and the power structure. So that single actors could move and create specific strong points in international conquest for specific foreign land acquisitions. This then allowed them to do such major events like take whole countries with a specific economic strategy. Which usually was dumping cheap products, gaining jobs, then exporting loans and gaining interest. In which they would go under and not have resources or military might. Which then would allow them to move in their SOE’s and political espionage and sabotage units to force the country into their satellite regime of single party control. This allowed them to conquer vast lands with a basic economic conquest of centralization of power and economy to a single political party.

    After them we see the Communist Chinese. They see the mistakes of those that came before them. Thus they are trying to resolve those mistakes and not make the same ones as they try and the same thing. The Communist Chinese know well the international opinion of the use of military. As such, they use it at slight of hand and most of the time cloaked by illegal or legal immigrant soldiers that act more like mercenaries than they do government backed soldiers. Which then allows all of their movements to be cloaked as basic illegal activities. Along with that they saw the strength of the same entity at the same time. In which their military build is used in similar fashion in the high tech game as the German Socialist Party used their physical militarizes. In which the Communists are able to create anger, show force, then see if they are weak, if not they use natural technology to hurt them, with a long line of after affects of other high technological weapons of those countries being conquered for resource control.

    Furthermore, they are able to see the ability and power of a unified front of a single superior race. In which they try and implement in their ranks through various possible propaganda like forcing the minorities that are supposed to be allowed to be left alone in their conquered lands of Tibet or inner Mongolia to go through abortions or even forced procedures to stop birthing. This then allows them to take this even one step further. In which they actually fund foreign genocides like in Zimbabwe. As they can use their superior race mentality as the way to allow such killing of foreign cultures. In which after they force the Dictator via their superior race mentality views to allow the Dictators resources to be raped at very low costs. They then create a similar subordinate view in the Dictators mind to their superior race. As such, allowing them with ease to import more of their own race to the area to take up more jobs, allocate more resources and to force the Dictators country folks to cater to their every needs. This superior race mentality then strengthens the bonds of the Han Chinese especially the elite guard of the intelligence of the MSS and other covert agencies, that are fully staffed with only Han Chinese Communists.

    Furthermore, they are able to see the military strategy and use it as an economic strategy, much similar to their predecessors before them. In which they use an economic blitzkrieg to force their way into foreign lands via their SOE’s. Exactly like the Soviets did with their Eastern Europe conquest. However, the Communist Chinese are specifically attacking the African’s and American’s before they enter anywhere else. This is because they know that they have the rest of the world tied up to their resource centralization supply chain cartels. However, the most important part is where all of their predecessors failed. Which is international diplomacy.

    This is the ability in which a country is able to create propaganda that cloaks their very interests so that they can use soft power to get what they want. There is no better an agency than the MSS, the KGB was great and GRU too. However, the MSS knows that they had to take in and mutate their oppositions best power which is the decentralization of power to free markets. Before their opposition would allow them to do something that they did not allow any of the other economic world conquers. There were able to do this by keeping a strangle hold on any free enterprise via a centralized power structure as they slowly let go of some of the market. However, the party never really let go of the market. As they still use a centralized agency to deal with SOE’s and Free enterprises alike. This is because the party is able to control the supply chain of their free enterprises and SOE’s, via the SASAC and other MSS agency activities. This then allows them to be able to destroy any opposition to the parties wishes and deems. Along with the fact that free enterprises business owners before fear was implemented. Where well known to go missing or even lose everything they had, while along with ending up in retraining school to be obedient to the single fascist party rule. Therefore, in reality the party never really did let go of the market to become a free market. As they still controlled it via their centralized economic control. However, to their international diplomacy. It allowed the whole opposition to let down their guard. In which the leaders have forgotten about the cold war all together. Even though the last wall in the DMZ still exists, and the last Communist puppet regime grows stronger everyday via their military hoarding’s.

    We then see that this great international diplomacy based on a cloaked lie has been able to gain the Communist Chines favor and complete lackadaisical activities via any defense cognition’s to stop them from doing what their predecessors did via their economic invasion tactics. Therefore, allowing the Communist Chinese to enter whole ares of countries and to start to control them and implement economic and political power shifting to their party. Which is done through their ability to use their supply chain cartel to hoard all of the worlds resources to their single party fascist regime. With an illegal monopolistic and monoposonic international anti trust cartel holding of over 97% of the worlds resources and growing. Which is 37% more than Saudi Arabia even has. While also not having to have any debate or opposition to their centralized power holdings like Saudi Arabia has in OPEC.

    Therefore, as I wrote the Blitzkrieg outline over a year ago. We now see that we are in last part of the invasion tactics. In which their cloaked lies have been able to get them to the point of complete let down of defenses to stop their economic world conquest via their SOE’s and totalitarian subordinate style control of power and economy. Which is radiating out of their home land now right into the very heart of the USA.

    Rider I

    Stand for Democracy and Free Markets, stand against World Resource Hoarding