Solidarity leader Lech Walesa, marking the fifth anniversary of the trade union's creation, today delivered a new appeal for talks with communist authorities and unveiled the most comprehensive program prepared by Solidarity activists since the organization was outlawed.
"In August, we are giving a warning: We have had enough of lies. Our fatherland is being destroyed," Walesa declared during a day of peaceful anniversary ceremonies here. "We have to find a way out of this . . . and there is no way but dialogue and agreement."
Walesa announced the completion of a 500-page "report" by a group of Solidarity activists that is meant to serve as the first detailed opposition policy program since Solidarity was forced underground by the declaration of martial law in December 1981.
A 16-page summary of the document released today combines mostly familiar opposition proposals for reform in areas ranging from the economy and trade union pluralism to education, culture, health and the environment. "This should serve for discussion," said Walesa. "It shows that nobody has a monopoly on thinking about Poland."
Government authorities have long ruled out the possibility of negotiations with Walesa or other leaders of the Solidarity Union, which won unprecedented rights as the East Bloc's first independent trade union in an agreement signed here on Aug. 31, 1980.
In a press conference this week, government spokesman Jerzy Urban said Walesa's offer "was not a sincere one" and that the union leader "lives in a reality of his own invention."
Nevertheless, the release of the document and Walesa's emphasis on dialogue rather than street protests reflected a major effort by top Solidarity leaders to establish a new, long-term course for their movement.
"At this stage of our activities, we do not need masses of demonstrators fighting against police but small, wise groups of thinking people with broad horizons slowly building effective programs," Walesa said in a statement earlier this week.
More immediately, the new document may serve as a kind of opposition platform for a major test of strength with authorities in parliamentary elections. Solidarity's underground leadership has called on citizens to boycott the Oct. 13 vote, leading to government charges that the leadership offers only a negative agenda.
"It is not true that we are always saying 'no,' " Walesa said today. "We have positive proposals. We want to talk, but the condition of this is truth."
With Saturday's anniversary falling on a work holiday, Walesa chose this afternoon to stage his now familiar anniversary gesture of laying a wreath at the monument outside the Lenin shipyards, where the Solidarity movement began with a sit-down strike.
Walesa emerged from the shipyard gates shortly after his work shift ended this afternoon to the cheers of several hundred supporters. Police, who at first sought to disperse the crowd, left before Walesa arrived to lay the wreath and lead the singing of Poland's national anthem.
Aside from masses today and Saturday, no further public ceremonies or demonstrations have been planned. No arrests or disturbances were reported here today.
In a press conference at St. Brigida's Church after the wreath-laying, Walesa said that he had deliberately sought to prevent a street protest by leaving the shipyard shortly after completing his shift.
"I don't want to fight with the authorities; I want to look for an agreement," he added. "We should look for agreements, but not in the street."
The document announced by Walesa as a basis for such a dialogue, entitled "Poland Five Years After the August," appears to focus on outlining weaknesses in government policies while reiterating Solidarity proposals for change dating from both before and after its 18-month legal existence.
The summary, divided into five parts to reflect the book's five chapters, restates many of the 22 demands incorporated into the Gdansk agreement five years ago, such as trade union pluralism, decentralization of economic decision-making, an end to state censorship of the press and reform of education.
However, it also lauds the development of an underground culture since the 1981 military takeover and forcefully describes a growing gap between official policies and propaganda and national life.
"The deepest cause of the Polish crisis is a destruction of the elementary mutual trust between the people and the authorities," it says.
"A dichotomy of public life is deepening," the document says.