Poland's new PM marks anniversary of 1981 martial law

Poland's new PM marks anniversary of 1981 martial law


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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Poland's new prime minister, Mateusz Morawiecki, and powerful ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski attended ceremonies Wednesday marking 36 years since the country's communist regime used tanks and troops to clamp down on the Solidarity freedom movement.

The 49-year-old Morawiecki is the son of a prominent anti-communist Polish dissident from the 1970s and 1980s and was active in his father's Fighting Solidarity organization.

Both the future prime minister and his father, Kornel Morawiecki, were repeatedly detained and beaten by communist security forces. The elder Morawiecki, who is now a lawmaker in Poland, was even in hiding for some time.

He said Wednesday on state Radio 1 that those difficult times had a strengthening influence on his son.

Authorities running Poland at the time imposed martial law on Dec. 13, 1981 amid a growing pro-democracy movement. The country remained under martial law for more than 1 ½ years. The Solidarity movement eventually prevailed, leading to the peaceful end of communism in 1989.

Several hundred supporters of the ruling Law and Justice party raised flags and sang the national anthem at Wednesday's downtown anniversary event.

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This story has been corrected to say that Morawiecki's movement was called Fighting Solidarity, not Fight Solidarity Organization.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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