POLAND: The Winter of Discontent

Mass strikes, demonstrations and riots exploded throughout Poland last summer, paralyzing the nation and provoking panic in Warsaw, dismay in Moscow. The immediate cause of the uprising was a dramatic increase in food prices, but the roots of the rebellion lay deep in the dissatisfaction of the fiercely independent Polish people with Soviet-imposed Communist rule.

The summer protests marked the third time in two decades that insurgent workers had illegally struck against unpopular government measures and won their case. Workers' demonstrations in 1956 and 1970 had even brought down the reigning party chiefs in Warsaw. This time, the present Polish party...

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