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English Section

Tribute to victims of 1981 communist crackdown on miners

16.12.2020 13:15
Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki on Wednesday paid tribute to the victims a lethal 1981 crackdown by communist authorities on striking miners in the southern city of Katowice.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki during a ceremony on Wednesday at a monument to slain miners in Katowice, southern Poland.
PM Mateusz Morawiecki during a ceremony on Wednesday at a monument to slain miners in Katowice, southern Poland. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

Morawiecki marked the 39th anniversary of the crackdown, which left nine dead and 21 wounded, at a monument to the miners in Katowice.

He said: "All of us who are today the children of that courage, of the fight for freedom and solidarity, bow our heads and offer thanks for the sacrifice, for the courage, for the fact that that blood [spilled…] paved the way to solidarity, to freedom and the path to an independent Poland."


PM Mateusz Morawiecki (third from left) during ceremonies at a monument to slain miners in Katowice on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel PM Mateusz Morawiecki (third from left) during ceremonies at a monument to slain miners in Katowice on Wednesday. Photo: PAP/Andrzej Grygiel

Miners from the “Wujek” coal mine in Katowice went on strike on 13 December 1981, the day that martial law was declared by Poland’s 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.

Sunday marked 39 years since Poland's former communist authorities imposed martial law.

(pk)

Source: PAP