WARSAW, JUNE 1 -- A broad group of Polish intellectuals and workers, led by Solidarity Chairman Lech Walesa, called today for what they said was a needed restoration of national sovereignty and political democracy in a bid to shape the tenor of a visit here next week by Polish-born Pope John Paul II.
The two-page statement, drawn up during a five-hour meeting at a Warsaw church yesterday, was signed by more than 60 persons, including top leaders of the banned Solidarity union, priests and lay activists of the Roman Catholic Church, and prominent artists, lawyers and writers. Opposition activists said the appeal was the broadest such independent initiative organized since Solidarity's suppression in 1981.
The statement was prepared as communist authorities detained leading activists for warning talks. The signatories described the declaration as an effort to ensure that Poland's ongoing political conflict would play a role in the pope's third visit. John Paul II last toured Poland in 1983, shortly before the lifting of martial law.
"Obviously the authorities would like to present this papal visit as taking place in a country that, in their terms, has been 'normalized,' a country that abdicated its aspirations and those of the church," said Solidarity spokesman Janusz Onyszkiewicz in a meeting with western journalists here today. "Our idea was to say something in the name of people who didn't feel represented by the government and its institutions."
Police detained opposition intellectuals Adam Michnik, Bronislaw Geremek and Stefan Bratkowski for several hours in Warsaw yesterday, warning them not to engage in unsanctioned activity during the pope's planned eight-day visit. Activists in five other cities also were warned in recent days, opposition sources said.
Onyszkiewicz accused authorities of seeking "an atmosphere of terror" that could dampen shows of national feeling during the mass gatherings the pope will attend. The opposition, he said, looked on the event as "another occasion to recharge our batteries, to strengthen our resolve in pursuing certain goals."
The statement issued by the group said Poland's situation causes "great unease" and that "the basic problems, which continually produce the explosion of social and political crisis, have not until now been solved."
It called for the realization of three "basic rights": national independence, internal democracy and the independent determination of Poland's internal order and economic structure.
"Poles cannot resign from these basic rights," the group said. "They describe our activity and our hope. Only a Poland in which these basic rights are realized can be an active and stable member of the community of all European countries."
In addition to Walesa, the statement was signed by such Solidarity activists as Michnik, Geremek, former underground chief Zbigniew Bujak and Silesian leader Wladyslaw Frasyniuk. Two friends of the pope, the Rev. Jozef Tischner and Catholic editor Jerzy Turowicz, also signed, along with the president of the Warsaw Club of Catholic intelligentsia.
Several signers are well-known writers and artists, such as journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski and film director Andrzej Wajda. Marek Edelman, the last surviving leader of Warsaw's World War II ghetto uprising, joined the appeal, as did two well-known politicians who long held posts under communist rule, former deputy Edmund Osmanczyk and Ryszard Reiff, a former member of the Council of State.
Onyszkiewicz pointed out that the former chiefs of Poland's officially sponsored unions for writers, actors, artists and journalists signed the appeal. The associations were reorganized after Solidarity's suppression.