• Short Summary

    INTRODUCTION: Polish workers' leader Lech Walesa is among 60 candidates for the 1981 Nobel Peace Prize.

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    CU INTERIOR Adolfo Perez Esquivel speaking in Spanish with library shots of Lech Walesa addressing rallies in Czestochowa, Poland, 1980. (3 SHOTS)

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    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: INTRODUCTION: Polish workers' leader Lech Walesa is among 60 candidates for the 1981 Nobel Peace Prize. This was announced last week (3 February) by Jacob Sverdrup, Director of the Nobel Institute. The leader of Poland's trade union Solidarity was proposed for this year's award by Argentina's Adolfo Perez Esquivel, winner of the prize in 1980.

    SYNOPSIS: Mr. Perez described Walesa as a symbol for liberation and a fighter for world peace. And he discussed his struggle for a free trade union movement, his campaign for shorter working hours and his ideology of non-violence. When one talks of peace, he said, it does not mean passiveness. Working for peace needed deep, dynamic action which had been displayed by Lech Walesa.

    The 1980 peace prize laureate said without justice there can't be peace. Mr. Perez Esquivel referred to the conflicts which existed throughout the European continent, the arms race and other reasons for present international tension. And he said the poor countries of Europe were becoming poorer, the rich more prosperous.

    Mr. Perez said he thought proposing Lech Walesa was a landmark on the road to peace, a step towards developing solidarity between workers, peasants and all people to find a real peace throughout the world.

    Perez Esquivel is the leader of a Latin American peace movement. He was awarded the 1980 Nobel Peace Prize for his human rights and individual liberties campaign in Argentina. The Nobel committee said Mr. Perez's organisation had worked for a solution of conflicts by non-violent means.

    Lech Walesa has come a long way from the day in 1976 when he was dismissed from his job at the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk. The Polish government found his criticisms of economic policies too harsh. Now the unknown electrician has assumed the status of an international figure.

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