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The 21 demands from the workers


A restful detention
Jan Józef Lipski Social activist
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The security services set about arresting us one by one and disabling our telephones. Some found themselves there sooner, others later but the upshot was that I, too, after a short time of being in hiding, was arrested on the street and brought in. This was a time of wonderful rest: a great many things were bound to be happening at that time without us and how good it was that we were able to get some rest, we didn't have to be responsible for anything, we didn't have to be busting our guts, running around, looking for phones that hadn't yet been bugged, we could simply have a decent sleep for the first time in ages.

[Q] You were going to tell us what the workers achieved...

Well, eventually the shipyard, the Strike Committee in the shipyard signed an agreement with the authorities, and one of the points was that we'd be released from detention or from prison, and I was one of the people who was able to benefit from this opportunity and found myself free once again.

Służba Bezpieczeństwa zabrała się do wyaresztowywania nas po kolei i... i likwidowania telefonów. Jedni się znaleźli wcześniej tam, drudzy później; no, ale w rezultacie ja również po jakimś krótkim okresie ukrywania się jednak zostałem zwinięty z ulicy i to był piękny moment odpoczynku: teraz będzie się dużo na pewno działo bez nas i jak to dobrze – możemy sobie odpocząć, za nic nie odpowiadamy, nie musimy wychodzić ze skóry, biegać, szukać telefonów, które jeszcze są czyste, możemy się po prostu porządnie przespać, pierwszy raz od dawna.

[Q] Miałeś powiedzieć, że robotnicy tam wyciągnęli...

Aaa. No i wreszcie Stocznia... Komitet Strajkowy w Stoczni podpisał umowę z władzą. Jednym z punktów było to, że wyjdziemy z aresztów bądź z więzień. No i ja byłem jednym z tych, którzy mogli skorzystać z tej okazji i znowu znaleźć się na wolności.

Jan Józef Lipski (1926-1991) was one of Poland's best known political activists. He was also a writer and a literary critic. As a soldier in the Home Army (Armia Krajowa), he fought in the Warsaw Uprising. In 1976, following worker protests, he co-founded the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR). His active opposition to Poland's communist authorities led to his arrest and imprisonment on several occasions. In 1987, he re-established and headed the Polish Socialist Party. Two years later, he was elected to the Polish Senate. He died in 1991 while still in office. For his significant work, Lipski was honoured with the Cross of the Valorous (Krzyż Walecznych), posthumously with the Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (1991) and with the highest Polish decoration, the Order of the White Eagle (2006).

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.

Tags: Strike Committee

Duration: 1 minute, 18 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1989

Date story went live: 15 March 2011