National leaders of the underground Solidarity movement have urged Poles to abstain from demonstrations during the planned June visit of Pope John Paul II and urged nonviolent protests to mark key anniversaries in May.
A statement released after a secret meeting March 23 of the five-member Provisional Coordinating Committee of the outlawed trade union Solidarity repeated a demand for a general amnesty for political prisoners and presented a strategy and prayers for a tense spring.
The appeal for nonviolent protest actions appeared to be an answer to Interior Minister Czeslaw Kiszczak, who told the legislature last week that political opponents sought confrontation and an explosion and would try to create "large-scale unrest" in early May to upset the pope's visit.
Meanwhile, a broadcast was heard here tonight using the name of the clandestine Radio Solidarity. The scratchy transmission, which lasted only several minutes, was the first since the trial in late January of the nine founders of the secret station. All were convicted of violating martial law.
Tonight's announcer, who was not identified, said all reforms in Poland were "senseless" without "a complete change of system of power" and insisted on a return to a 1981 Solidarity program for "a sovereign, self-governed republic."
Earlier this week, three Warsaw-area underground leaders called for a workers' march independent of the official May Day parade traditionally held on May 1.
The national committee, made up of Solidarity activists from across Poland who have eluded police since the military takeover more than 15 months ago, advised Poles simply to "demonstrate your solidarity with the struggle of Polish workers" on May 1.
More specific instructions were given for May 3, the anniversary of Poland's first democratic constitution, promulgated in 1791, and a day celebrated during the Solidarity era to recall Poland's early independence.
"On May 3, we shall appear solemnly dressed in our places of work," the communique said. "We shall be wearing ribbons of national colors, and honor, with a midday minute of silence, the generations of Poles who sacrificed their lives in the struggle for homeland and peoples' rights."
For the seven-day papal visit beginning June 16, the underground leaders urged Poland's authorities to grant an amnesty to all political prisoners before John Paul arrives in order to create "an appropriate climate" for the pilgrimage.
It was also learned that Poland's Roman Catholic bishops, who also have been pressing the amnesty idea, sent sharply worded letters this week to the ministers of justice and interior concerning the fate of those jailed under martial law.
The Solidarity statement said: "The holy father will arrive in a suffering country in which families weep after those who have been killed or put in jail. He is coming into a country in which basic human rights have been trampled on and national pride injured.
"Polish people have the right to expect that an appropriate climate will be created for the papal visit in Poland and that all political prisoners will receive amnesty."
Coupled with this demand was a plea to the public to avoid riotous behavior. "It has never been our intention to stage street riots--responsibility for them lies with those who provoke them," the communique said. "The pope's visit cannot be used by the authorities for blackmailing people and threatening that it might be cancelled."
The statement was signed by regional underground leaders Zbigniew Bujak of Warsaw, Wladyslaw Hardek of Krakow, Bogdan Lis of Gdansk, Jozef Pinior of Wroclaw and Eugeniusz Szumiejko, a member of the banned union's national presidium.
In a separate open letter to the pope, the fugitive activists wrote: "We need a meeting with you now more than any time before. . . .We join you, holy father, in your prayers for the martial-law victims, for those in jails, dragged into the Army's penal companies, and harassed. We shall pray with you for our oppressors, that they might understand that the road of terror and lies is disastrous for Poland and it threatens world peace."