Rally bout 1,500 protesters gathered outside the Polish consulate today, demanding that the United States "stand up against the Soviet Union" and accusing the Soviets of involvement in the crackdown in Poland.
"There isn't any question that the Polish government, which is a puppet of the Soviet Union, carried out oppressive acts ordered of it by Moscow," Mayor Edward Koch told the crowd.
The protesters, who jammed the block in front of the consulate in Manhattan, carried signs and chanted slogans in support of the Solidarity union. At one point, they set fire to a Soviet flag.
No arrests were reported, but a scuffle took place when Communist Workers Party members tried to distribute leaflets. Police escorted them from the scene.
Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) called on the United States to "break economic relations" with Russia and charged that the Soviets' "systemic plan" was behind the declaration of martial law in Poland a week ago.
"We are not going to feed the army that imprisons the people of Poland," he said.
Albert Shanker, head of the American Federation of Teachers, called the military crackdown in Poland "one of the darkest moments of the 20th century." The Soviets "do not deserve favored treatment from the people of the United States," he said.
In another rally protesting the martial law actions in Poland, about 1,000 people demonstrated for 30 minutes at Daley Center Plaza in Chicago.