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Setting up the worker's commission

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The defeat of the ZMS
Jacek Kuroń Social activist
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No, ale muszę powiedzieć, że przebrali miarkę, że tu rzeczywiście przebrali miarkę. Zrobił się krzyk na wyższych uczelniach, nawet w ZMS-e. Natomiast wszystkie organizacje próbowały dociec, kto tam chodził do bicia. Oni w związku z tym próbowali zrobić taki numer, bo tam byli AWF-owcy od bicia i jako tło młodzież ze SGPIS-u między innymi, kogoś tam rozpoznano. Jeden SGPIS ZMS-owski zorganizował otwarte zebranie w sprawie tych bojówek, gdzie na... nasze oświadczenie i cały opis zdarzenia wywieszono w gablotkach obok swego oświadczenia, w którym tam zresztą pisano, że to ja chciałem zabić, że to ja robiłem prowokacje i chciałem zabić ojca, bo ojciec jest innych poglądów niż ja. Ojciec napisał list otwarty do rektora SGPIS-u, który wręczył Lipińskiemu i kiedy oni zrobili to otwarte zebranie, przybył tam Lipiński, były rektor okupacyjny tego SGPIS-u no i nas nie ma, a plejada, Lipiński odczytał to pismo mojego ojca. Trzeba powiedzieć, że oni odnieśli tam niesłychaną klęskę wtedy w tej dyskusji. Niesłychaną klęskę! I jakby zelżał wtedy ten terror. Od tego momentu jakby zelżał terror. No, ale cały czas ten telefon, który musi dzwonić, nigdy go nie dawałem wyłączyć. I raz wreszcie przyjechałem z procesu Kozłowskiego z Koszalina. W Koszalinie był taki nasz chłopak, współpracownik biura interwencyjnego, bardzo aktywny w tropieniu przestępstw milicji i on... Jemu zrobiono proces o pobicie milicjanta. Fałszywy, cały fikcyjny! I na tym procesie byliśmy w Koszalinie, tam zresztą był również Lech Wałęsa. Przyjechałem ja do Warszawy, to było drugiego lipca, i usnąłem. Noc w tamtą, noc z powrotem, dzień na procesie – byłem strasznie zmęczony i Gajka wyłączyła telefon. Wyłączyła pierwszy raz w życiu, wyłączyła telefon. I gdzieś koło jedenastej wpada Heniek Wójec i krzyczy: "Jacek, co się tu dzieje? Dzwoni Ursus, strajk się zaczął". Zawsze mówiłem potem: "Nigdy już nie wyłączę telefonu, bo się zacznie". A niektórzy mówili: "Czekaj no, to może wyłącz".

But I have to say that they went too far, in this case, they really did go too far. There was an outcry in the colleges, even in the ZMS. The ZMS organisations tried to find out who had participated in the beatings. Because of this, they tried to... students from the sports academy were doing the beating while people from SGPIS were there to create a crowd, and someone got recognised. One of the ZMS SGPIS organised an open meeting about these hit squads, at which... our account and the description we gave of what had happened was displayed in the cabinets next to their account of events in which they wrote that I wanted to kill, that I had started the provocation and had wanted to kill my father because he has different views from mine. My father wrote an open letter to the rector of SGPIS which he gave to Lipiński and when they held the open meeting, Lipiński read out my father's letter. I have to say that they were completely defeated in that discussion. It was a complete defeat! That's when the terror seemed to recede, from that moment it seemed to recede. But the phone, which had to keep ringing, I wouldn't allow it to be disconnected. Once I came back from the trial of Kozłowski in Koszalin. One of our boys was in Koszalin, he worked in the office of intervention, and was very involved in tracking police injustice... they set him up and tried him for beating up a policeman. It was a false accusation, complete fiction! We attended this trial in Koszalin, Lech Wałęsa was there, too. I got back to Warsaw on July 2nd and fell asleep. I'd spent one night getting there, another night getting back and the whole day at the trial, so I was exhausted, and Gajka disconnected the phone, for the first time in her life, she disconnected the phone. At around 11:00 o'clock, Heniek Wójec charges in shouting, 'Jacek, what's going on? Ursus is calling, they've started a strike.' After that, I always used to say I'm never going to disconnect the phone again because it'll all kick off. But other people were saying, hold on, perhaps you should disconnect it.

The late Polish activist, Jacek Kuroń (1934-2004), had an influential but turbulent political career, helping transform the political landscape of Poland. He was expelled from the communist party, arrested and incarcerated. He was also instrumental in setting up the Workers' Defence Committee (KOR) and later became a Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

Listeners: Jacek Petrycki Marcel Łoziński

Cinematographer Jacek Petrycki was born in Poznań, Poland in 1948. He has worked extensively in Poland and throughout the world. His credits include, for Agniezka Holland, Provincial Actors (1979), Europe, Europe (1990), Shot in the Heart (2001) and Julie Walking Home (2002), for Krysztof Kieslowski numerous short films including Camera Buff (1980) and No End (1985). Other credits include Journey to the Sun (1998), directed by Jesim Ustaoglu, which won the Golden Camera 300 award at the International Film Camera Festival, Shooters (2000) and The Valley (1999), both directed by Dan Reed, Unforgiving (1993) and Betrayed (1995) by Clive Gordon both of which won the BAFTA for best factual photography. Jacek Petrycki is also a teacher and a filmmaker.

Film director Marcel Łoziński was born in Paris in 1940. He graduated from the Film Directing Department of the National School of Film, Television and Theatre in Łódź in 1971. In 1994, he was nominated for an American Academy Award and a European Film Academy Award for the documentary, 89 mm from Europe. Since 1995, he has been a member of the American Academy of Motion Picture Art and Science awarding Oscars. He lectured at the FEMIS film school and the School of Polish Culture of Warsaw University. He ran documentary film workshops in Marseilles. Marcel Łoziński currently lectures at Andrzej Wajda’s Master School for Film Directors. He also runs the Dragon Forum, a European documentary film workshop.

Tags: ZMS, SGPIS, Koszalin, Warsaw, Ursus, Gajka Kuroń, Lech Wałęsa, Henryk Wójec, Edward Lipiński

Duration: 2 minutes, 25 seconds

Date story recorded: 1987

Date story went live: 12 June 2008