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Hooligans in the opposition


Informing in school
Jacek Kuroń Social activist
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Ta cała historia solidarności szkolnej dotyczyła wszystkiego: noszenia kapci, palenia papierosów, wagarów i była w ogóle takim niesłychanym ciosem w cały ten stary aktyw ZMP-owski, ZWM-owski, TUR-owski. W tym wszystkim był w ogóle inny błąd. W początkowej fazie, na samym początku mojego... mojej przynależności to walczyło się z reakcją, znaczy z nauczycielami. To się dyskutowało na lekcjach. Myśmy wszyscy w gruncie rzeczy działali na dzielnicy, w szkole nas było niewiele, nie mieliśmy specjalnych zadań, szkolenia jakieś polityczne były. Chodziliśmy w butach, paliliśmy papierosy, wszyscy paliliśmy papierosy i uczyliśmy się wszyscy źle. To była reguła. Potem nagle, ja to pamiętam tak jakby z dnia na dzień, zaczerwieniło się wokół mnie. Wszyscy powkładali czerwone krawaty, a w czołówkę ZMP-owską powychodziły takie różne prymuski, które właśnie tropiły chodzących w butach, palących papierosy, ściągających donosiły, kapowały bez w ogóle żadnego, żadnego oporu. I na tym tle dochodziło do niesłychanych konfliktów, bójek. O wiele mocniej to przecież, bo ja opowiadam tutaj tak ja to widziałem najbliżej, a to samo zachodziło w środowisku robotniczym o wiele mocniej, o wiele bardziej boleśnie, o wiele bardziej przejmująco, bo to jest sprawa, no, takich elementarnych spraw solidarności robotniczej właśnie, które w tym ujęciu, w imię planu miały być łamane.

The whole issue of school solidarity concerned absolutely everything: wearing indoor shoes, cigarettes smoking, truancy. It was a real blow to all the old ZMP, AWM and TUR activists. There was another flaw in all of this. In the initial phase when I first joined, the battle was with the reactionary force, meaning, with the teachers. We conducted discussions during the lessons. We were all active mainly outside school because there weren't many of us, we didn't have any special assignments, there was some political training in school and that's it. We went around in our outdoor shoes, we smoked cigarettes, everybody smoked and everybody had bad marks. That was the rule. Then suddenly, I seem to remember it happening overnight, everything turned red. Everybody started wearing red ties while all the top students joined the ZMP leadership. They reported anyone who wore their outdoor shoes, anyone who was smoking, anyone who was copying, they informed on everybody, and knew no limits. That initiated incredible conflicts and fights. It was even stronger, because I'm only telling you here how I saw it from close up, but the same thing was happening among workers, much more strongly and more painfully and with more bitterness because this was an issue of the workers' solidarity which in this perspective were meant to be broken for the sake of a plan.

The late Polish activist, Jacek Kuroń (1934-2004), had an influential but turbulent political career, helping transform the political landscape of Poland. He was expelled from the communist party, arrested and incarcerated. He was also instrumental in setting up the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR) and later became a Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

Listeners: Marcel Łoziński Jacek Petrycki

Film director Marcel Łoziński was born in Paris in 1940. He graduated from the Film Directing Department of the National School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in 1971. In 1994, he was nominated for an American Academy Award and a European Film Academy Award for the documentary, 89 mm from Europe. Since 1995, he has been a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science awarding Oscars. He lectured at the FEMIS film school and the School of Polish Culture of Warsaw University. He ran documentary film workshops in Marseilles. Marcel Łoziński currently lectures at Andrzej Wajda’s Master School for Film Directors. He also runs the Dragon Forum, a European documentary film workshop.

Cinematographer Jacek Petrycki was born in Poznań, Poland in 1948. He has worked extensively in Poland and throughout the world. His credits include, for Agniezka Holland, Provincial Actors (1979), Europe, Europe (1990), Shot in the Heart (2001) and Julie Walking Home (2002), for Krysztof Kieslowski numerous short films including Camera Buff (1980) and No End (1985). Other credits include Journey to the Sun (1998), directed by Jesim Ustaoglu, which won the Golden Camera 300 award at the International Film Camera Festival, Shooters (2000) and The Valley (1999), both directed by Dan Reed, Unforgiving (1993) and Betrayed (1995) by Clive Gordon both of which won the BAFTA for best factual photography. Jacek Petrycki is also a teacher and a filmmaker.


Duration: 1 minute, 45 seconds

Date story recorded: 1987

Date story went live: 12 June 2008