Polish underground leaders called today for widespread May Day demonstrations independent of the official government ceremonies.
The communique issued by fugitive members of the banned Solidarity union's Provisional Coordinating Committee also confirmed their meeting last weekend with former Solidarity chairman Lech Walesa.
In Gdansk, authorities formally summoned Walesa's wife Danuta for 2 1/2 hours of questioning this afternoon about the secret talks.
Like her husband, who said he had remained tight-lipped under questioning yesterday by security officers, Danuta Walesa told reporters waiting outside the provincial police headquarters in Gdansk that she had not provided the interrogators with much information. She said she did not know where her husband had gone during the three days last weekend that the clandestine Solidarity leadership conference reportedly took place.
The underground communique, which reached western reporters here through trusted channels yesterday, offered little additional insight into the clandestine talks. A statement issued Tuesday by Walesa said he had discussed the current situation in Poland and had coordinated his strategy with the senior union activists in hiding.
Aside from confirming that the meeting took place--a point on which the government has sought to cast doubt--the communique dealt with the May Day protest call. A separate appeal for an independent May 1 demonstration in Warsaw was issued two weeks ago by the region's former Solidarity boss, Zbigniew Bujak, who belongs to the five-member national underground committee. Today's instructions prepared the way for possible nationwide action.
"We are issuing an appeal to demonstrate the unity of society and its resistance through mass participation in independent May Day celebrations," the statement said.
It urged a boycott of official ceremonies on May 1. In the past, it said, these had made "a mockery" of workers' rights "to decide about their fate."
The underground leaders called on Solidarity's old regional and factory structures--formally abolished with the union in October but functioning secretly in a number of places--to prepare and publicize marches, rallies and other events so that "for the authorities who declared war on their own people, May the first will be a day of uncertainty and fear."
The statement recalled last year's May Day, which marked the first mass protest against the government of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski since the military takeover 4 1/2 months earlier.
Tens of thousands defied martial law then by marching peacefully through the streets of Warsaw's Old Town chanting pro-Solidarity slogans while the formalized Communist march went ahead in neighboring streets.
Two days later, on the anniversary of Poland's 18th century constitution, there were violent demonstrations on the streets of Warsaw.
This year the underground leaders said the May Day rallies should be held under slogans calling for freedom for political prisoners, an end to price rises, the chance for workers to see the full fruit of their labor and the restoration of independent union rights.
The government has not yet made clear whether it will try to stop unofficial worker rallies on May Day, the traditional holiday honoring workers.
In addition to Bujak, the Solidarity underground committee that issued the call includes Bogdan Lis of Gdansk, Wladyslaw Hardek of Krakow, Jozef Pinior of Wroclaw and Eugeniusz Szumiejko.
As a sign of the current limits on dissent, the former chief spokesman of Solidarity was heavily fined today by a misdemeanor court for continuing to wear a Solidarity pin.
Janusz Onyszkiewicz said the 15,000 zloty fine ($175) was equivalent to 1 1/2 times his monthly salary as a math lecturer at Warsaw University. He was convicted under an article forbidding people to "wear a badge of an organization which legally does not exist."
Meanwhile, Marek Edelman, Poland's last surviving leader of the Warsaw ghetto uprising, who has called for a boycott of the official ceremonies honoring its 40th anniversary, disclosed today that authorities have advised him not to leave the city of Lodz, where he works as a heart specialist, until after the official commemoration ends April 24.
Edelman, 62, said in a phone interview that his movements were being watched by two-to-six-man teams of plainclothed agents. He was told by officials that the surveillance is being provided for his own protection.
Despite the instructions that he stay near home, the former deputy commander of the ill-fated 1943 Jewish resistance battle here said he would "most probably" travel to Warsaw Sunday for an unofficial march and wreath-laying ceremony being staged by a private organizing committee in protest against what it claims has been the misuse of the anniversary by the government.