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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Poland marks bloody miners’ strike anniversary

16.12.2019 13:30
Poland on Monday marked the 38th anniversary of a brutal crackdown by communist authorities on a strike at a mine in the southern city of Katowice, which left nine dead and 21 wounded.
Pacyfikacja strajku w kopalni Wujek
Pacyfikacja strajku w kopalni "Wujek"ipn.gov.pl

Miners from the “Wujek” coal mine in Katowice went on strike on 13 December 1981, the day that martial law was declared by the communist authorities to stifle rising opposition headed by the Solidarity movement.

The strikers called for an end to martial law, during which the authorities brought tanks to the streets, cut telephone lines and introduced a strict curfew.

The strike was brutally suppressed by a special platoon in the communist riot police which fired at the miners, killing nine and wounding 21.

The commemorations on Monday were set to start in the afternoon with a mass in the Holy Cross Church in Katowice. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki was scheduled to attend the events, public broadcaster Polish Radio’s IAR news agency reported.

In 2007, 15 former members of the platoon were given prison terms for their part in the killings, most sentenced to two-and-a-half to three years in jail, except for their former platoon commander, who was sentenced to 11 years.

On Friday, another member of the platoon was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. He had been charged with a crime against humanity.

Friday marked 38 years since Poland's former communist authorities imposed martial law.

(jh)

Source: IAR