A meeting aimed at defusing tension in the Gdansk shipyards on August 25 rebounded on the Polish government when workers cheered the leader of the banned Solidarity union Lech Walesa.
(NATURAL SOUND) (NBC):
1. SV Leader of banned Solidarity union, Lech Walesa crossing road to go to meeting, and workers cheering (3 shots) 0.19
2. SV PULL BACK TO GV Crowds chanting outside Lenin shipyards at Gdansk 0.24
3. GV/SV INTERIOR Deputy Prime Minister M. Rakowski speaking to workers at meeting, including Walesa (5 shots) 0.40
(NATURAL SOUND) (NBC):
4. SV Walesa leaving meeting, surrounded by crowd chanting Solidarnosc 0.57
5. GV Crowd of supporters following Walesa to car, chanting Solidarnosc (2 shots) 1.24
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Background: GDANSK, POLAND
A meeting aimed at defusing tension in the Gdansk shipyards on August 25 rebounded on the Polish government when workers cheered the leader of the banned Solidarity union Lech Walesa. He received an enthusiastic welcome when he arrived at the meeting in the Lenin Shipyards, where agreements were signed on August 31, 1980, opening the way for the creation of Solidarity. The government had called the meeting to explain its policies to workers in an attempt to avert demonstrations on the third anniversary of the agreements. Those present at the stormy gathering said that Deputy Prime Minister Mieczyslaw Rakowski, who spoke for more than an hour, condemned the union as the root of Poland's economic and social crisis. He was interrupted by shouts of Walesa's name and that of Solidarity. Walesa, in a brief speech from the packed hall, took a conciliatory line. He said talks and concessions from both the government and Solidarity leaders were essential to pull Poland out of its crisis. The deputy prime minister was jeered on numerous occasions throughout the meeting. This was heard by people outside the hall, where Western reporters had not been admitted. Those present also called for the release of imprisoned Solidarity leaders, seven of whom are awaiting trial on anti-state charges. At the end, supporters escorted Walesa to is car, chanting the name of the union and singing the national anthem.
Source: NATIONAL BROADCASTING COMPANY INCORPORATED/POLSKIE RADIO I TELEWIZJA TVP