ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Gloomy Prospect

The authorities have clamped new restrictions and blamed Solidarity for preparing, for "bloodshed". Even some interned Solidarity leaders have been charged with trying to "overthrow the state by force". According to the penal code, if convicted of this charge, leaders such as Jack Kuron and Adam Michinek face the maximum penalty of death sentences. An official spokesman told journalists that the agitation had shown that Solidarity 'leaders were not "viable partners for a dialogue". As a matter- of fact, the authorities had not planned to hold any talks with the Solidarity leaders. In July, Solidarity's underground leadership had declared a month-long moratorium on all protests and expressed a willngess to hold talks, but this offer was rejected. Poland's East European allies had then opposed any concession to Solidarity on the ground that this would be to succumb to "contra-revolutionary forces". Though the government decided to release 1,227 out of 6,647 detainees and Jaruzelski had reportedly stated that martial law would be lifted by the end of the year "if Poland remained calm", these statements were not backed by any moves to relax some of the harsher martial law measures or to start talks with Solidarity. Nor is anything known about the draft plan for a "new trade union" system which had been announced in March and which was claimed to have been placed before the public for discussion.

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