The Polish authorities moved quickly yesterday to crush strikes and round up defiant workers, intellectuals and Solidarity activists down to the shop floor level. But some Solidarity sympathizers said they would continue to resist the martial law authorities.
Under the cover of a late night curfew, troops and riot police in unprecedented numbers first surrounded and then broke into major industrial installations in Warsaw and other major cities. From sketchy reports in a country plunged into a communications blackout, it appeared that the military and police forces met with little active resistance.
Lech Walesa, the Solidarity leader, remained in government custody, and union activists reported that he had been in contact with church officials. However, the fact he had made no public statement since martial law was imposed at midnight Saturday indicated that he was not cooperating with government efforts to lend his voice to appeals for "pacification."
Along with its show of force, the government strategy is clearly to isolate striking plants from each other to woo the intimidated population with sudden deliveries of stores of food and consumer goods in quantities unseen for months. This did not eliminate lengthy lines from stores, but it at least promised some reward at the end.
The Huta Warszawa steel mill, the largest factory in Warsaw and a Solidarity stronghold, was stormed by riot police and soldiers shortly after midnight Monday. They hauled away about 24 union leaders. Yesterday morning, about a hundred workers, family members and onlookers gathered in the snow near the front gate, talking about the raid.
They clustered around a tall man in a fur cap who had been inside the mill since 2 o'clock the previous afternoon and who told how the workers' morale had gradually ebbed, how they became hungry and then scared when they learned that scores of armored cars and soldiers with automatic weapons surrounded them.
"It was quiet for a long time." he said. "We were all in different buildings. Then we began to get information from people at the gate that the troops were going to attack us. We were in different moods. One group wanted to do everything to resist. But there were also people with small children at home who were scared. The women were crying."
"They came through the gate at 1 a.m. At first jeeps went around with loudspeakers telling people to leave, and they would not use force. When they found us, they banged on the door. We had keys so we opened it and fell back to the center of the room. They came in and seemed scared too. They had helmets and shields up. It seemed they were waiting for orders."
He said a police captain took the Solidarity leaders into a separate room for talks. The rest of the workers were allowed to leave and watched helplessly as the strike organizers were loaded into a bus and taken away.
At this point a belligerent man pushed his way through the crowd, and ordered foreign journalists to leave. When asked to produce his identification, the man pulled out a curfew pass and the crowd turned on him furiously.
"You'll get the gallows," some shouted. Another well-dressed man who had been hovering nearby walked over and politely but firmly advised the reporters to leave at once.
At 11 yesterday morning, in the center of the capital, police and troops raided the August National Academy of Sciences. Dissident professors and Solidarity activists were loaded unceremoniously into buses parked in front of a statue of Copernicus, Poland's greatest scientist.
Angry people gathered near the scene shouted "Gestapo," as the scholars were driven away. A young woman slumped against the wall of a building across the street, weeping uncontrollably.
Two hours later, small knots of Poles were still gathering near the statue to exchange information, but quickly left.
"It's too dangerous to give information on the streets," commented one bearded young man. "If there is a crowd, the police could easily come."
Western and Polish sources say they believe at least some Solidarity leaders, including the union's leadership from the city of Wroclaw were spirited away to nearby Czechoslovakia. Detention centers have also reportedly been set up near Kielce and at Bialolaka, on Warsaw's northern outskirts.
The government is using television and radio to hammer home the message that the country's very existence is at stake and that any opposition to military rule will be dealt with severely. In the southern mining town of Jastrzembie, a young worker said that this psychological pressure was having its effect even though protests were in progress at local coal mines.
"The government is attempting to create a war psychosis. Many of us still support Solidarity's aims, but others are waiting to see how events will develop. Conditions are very hard and most people are frightened out of their wits," he said.
With telecommunications out and postal services suspended, the only means for strikers to communicate with each other is by private courier traveling laboriously between cities. But even this method of communication is being throttled since all Poles were required to return to their normal place of residence by yesterday morning and now need special permission to travel.
Families have been split up and are unable to communicate with one another because of a quirk of timing which took some members out of town for what was to have been a relaxing weekend. In order to summon emergency services such as ambulance or the fire brigade, it is necessary to contact the nearest policeman as telephones are out of order.
Workers were stripping antigovernment posters from buildings all over town. A banner hung briefly from the windows of Warsaw University's philosophy and political science department: "To hell with the junta."
The following was assembled by Richard Homan of the Washington Post Foreign Service on the basis of reports by news agencies and Washington Post correspondents Michael Getler in Bonn, Loren Jenkins in Paris and Dusko Doder in Moscow:
Diplomatic reports said that the military government of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, which seized control of the country before dawn Sunday, removed the Communist Party flag from the Central Committee headquarters building in Warsaw yesterday and replaced it with the Polish flag, apparently in an effort to win nationalistic support.
Poland's airports remained closed yesterday with no indication when they would reopen.
The British Broadcasting Corp. reported early today that Western diplomats believe Soviet transport planes had landed in Warsaw. The BBC gave no details and did not identify the diplomats, but it said there were reports of heavy military maneuvers around the Polish capital and other cities.
Solidarity activists in Warsaw who escaped the police roundup early Sunday reported union chief Walesa had sent word that the workers should use only non-violent protests and should strike only in factories where such a protest would be effective.
But Solidarity's Warsaw chapter circulated a leaflet calling again for a general strike.
The union sources said Walesa gave his message to Roman Catholic Archbishop Bronislaw Dabrowski, who visited him. Walesa reportedly told the archbishop: "Don't allow the moral spirit of the nation to be crushed."
Roman Catholic sources said they had been told that Jaruzelski's government intends to outlaw all political activity in the country in terms that would include a ban on the Communist Party, which Jaruzelski also heads. Warsaw Radio announced the suspension of Pax and two other Catholic progovernment political associations not directly linked to the Roman Catholic Church in Poland.
The Soviet news media yesterday accused Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. of "interfering" in Poland's internal affairs and trying to impose "imperialist terms for resolving that country's domestic problems." Details on Page A25.
The Polish military government was reportedly continuing the roundup of an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 officials of the banned Solidarity independent labor union, political figures and intellectuals that began late Saturday after a Solidarity leadership meeting in Gdansk called for a referendum on the role of the Communist Party in Poland. The government yesterday also published a list of 27 former government and Communist Party leaders that have been detained since the declaration of martial law Sunday.
In addition to former party leader Edward Gierek and former premiers Edward Babiuch and Piotr Jaroszewicz, whose arrests had been announced earlier, those detained include former Politburo members Zdzislaw Grudzien and Jerzy Lukaszewicz, former deputy premiers Franciszek Kaim, Tadeusz Pyka, Jan Szydlak and Tadeusz Wrzaszczyk and eight former provincial governors.
The tight news blackout imposed by Polish authorities Monday continued yesterday, with Western news agencies unable to get messages in or out. The only information reaching the outside came from travelers leaving the country, Soviet and Eastern European news agencies and Western diplomats, whose normal access and communications were sharply restricted.
Poland's state-run radio, television and news service have provided little detail of activities in the country. Instead, it has limited itself to statements such as one late last night by the Polish government agency PAP saying that a majority of Poles have accepted with "satisfaction" measures that are being carried out by the Army and police "to eliminate physical and moral terror that was unleashed by antisocialist forces."
The crackdown, government sources in allied capitals estimate, was carried out in Warsaw with about 30,000 to 40,000 Polish troops, Washington Post correspondent Michael Getler reported from Bonn. Most of these were said to be paramilitary forces such as internal security branches of the police and territorial defense forces. There was said to be relatively little use made of the regular Polish Army.
The Army participation is estimated at several thousand troops, mostly selected, especially reliable, medium-sized units of larger divisions. Nearly half of the Polish Army is made up of draftees and there has always been a question as to whether the Army at large would obey orders to use force against fellow Poles.
The role of the Polish Army, which is a source of national pride under normal conditions, was apparently handled skillfully.
Just enough of the Army was used to make an impressive show of strength in key places early in the crackdown, but it apparently has kept a low profile since then. Thus far, it reportedly is being used only sparingly for some of the tougher and more volatile tasks, including breaking up sit-ins and passive resistance in some big industrial areas.