Eastern Europe: Young and Restless Neighbors

Young and Restless Unafraid and impatient, a new generation demands reform -- now

| In the closed societies of Eastern Europe, even a modest rise in expectations can be as explosive as leaking gas fumes. Last week strikes, protests and demonstrations erupted in an arc of unrest that ranged from the Soviet Union's restless Baltic republics to Poland, Czechoslovakia and Hungary. The immediate provocation for most of the popular outbursts was worsening economic deprivation. But on a deeper level, frustrated East Europeans were prodded into action by Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev's tantalizing vision of a reformed and freer model of Communism. The protests also underscored a generational shift to younger activists, whose hopes and...

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