In an underground interview made available today, Lech Walesa, founder of the banned Solidarity labor movement, presented a long-term plan of struggle that calls for the creation of new and diversified opposition groups but would drop the use of the familiar Solidarity logo.
The statement was Walesa's most extensive for months on the course that Polish resistance should take. In line with recent published remarks by other top activists of the now-outlawed Solidarity trade union, Walesa's comments point to a change in tactics away from mass public protests and toward a protracted campaign aimed at extensive underground organizing, educating and publishing.
Walesa acknowledged the futility of "frontal combat" with the well-armed government of Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski but sounded confident that the Communist-run system in Poland would again collapse in time and that a "new August" would come, a reference to the August 1980 strikes and subsequent worker-state accords that marked the rise of Solidarity.
The remarks appeared in the Sept. 8 issue of the weekly Warsaw underground bulletin C.D.N., initials for Polish words that mean "to be continued." Contacted by phone at his Gdansk home, where he is ill with stomach ulcers, Walesa confirmed to The Associated Press that the comments quoted in the bulletin are his, although he said the interview is really a composite of "various interviews and talks put together."
Other leading Solidarity activists have come out recently with statements advising against new strikes or violent resistance actions and counseling Poles instead to be patient and build up underground organizations. Zbigniew Bujak, who headed the Warsaw branch of Solidarity and is now the best known of the union leaders still in hiding, said last May that he expected a struggle that could take years to restore labor rights in Poland.
Adam Michnik, a strategist for the dissident Committee for Social Self-Defense, spoke--in an interview smuggled out of the Warsaw prison this month--of a "long march" ahead that should be "counted in years." He said "the only chance is to build a wide, many-angled front of social activities and hard resistance."
Similarly, Walesa outlined an approach that would abandon the remnants of the old Solidarity structure, which was formally dissolved by parliament under martial law a year ago, and even give up the red-on-white Solidarity logo kept alive on banners in mass rallies over the past year and a half.
"One must realize," Walesa is quoted as saying, "that at present under the Solidarity logo we will win nothing in our fight against the government. We must therefore suspend Solidarity for the time being, without forgetting its ideals, and create new regional country-wide opposition unions which would have new names. There should emerge as many of these organizations as possible so that the adversary couldn't take over them all."
"We must train extensive cadres who will be able to think politically," he went on. "The people must know in concrete terms what it is we are fighting for, what model of state and society we favor and what kind of trade unions we want to have."
Poland's Communist authorities have unequivocally rejected repeated calls by Walesa since his release last November from 11 months of martial law internment to resume worker-state talks that could lead to the formation of a pluralistic union structure. In place of Solidarity, the Jaruzelski government has established a new trade union structure based on a rule of one union per enterprise. The government says membership in the unions has topped 3.2 million, still only about a third of those who belonged to the Solidarity movement.
"The near future," said Walesa, "should be devoted to creating new organizations, training and organizing cadres, setting up a publishing network, political education, defalsifying past and recent history--and to waiting for an occasion that will be something of a new August."
Walesa's stress on underground education and the development of a politically smart opposition leadership echoes current thinking among top officials in Poland's Roman Catholic Church, the only remaining independent institution in the country after the crushing of Solidarity and dissolution of most intellectual associations. The church has been sponsoring the formation of new groups among farmers, workers and intellectuals that would sustain the personal contacts among Solidarity activists and nurture new leadership talent independent of communist bodies.