Text: S.Res.198 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Agreed to Senate (07/27/2005)

 
[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. Res. 198 Agreed to Senate (ATS)]



109th CONGRESS
  1st Session
S. RES. 198

   Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1980 worker's strike in 
Poland and the birth of the Solidarity Trade Union, the first free and 
 independent trade union established in the Soviet-dominated countries 
                               of Europe.


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                             July 18, 2005

Ms. Mikulski (for herself, Mr. Voinovich, Mr. Durbin, Mr. Sarbanes, Mr. 
 Lugar, Mr. Dodd, Mr. Feingold, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Biden, Mr. Inouye, Mr. 
Talent, Mrs. Dole, Mr. Crapo, Mr. Santorum, Mr. Coburn, Mr. Brownback, 
Mr. Obama, Mrs. Boxer, Mr. Nelson of Florida, Mr. DeWine, Mr. Corzine, 
  Mr. Isakson, and Ms. Murkowski) submitted the following resolution; 
          which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary

                             July 27, 2005

             Committee discharged; considered and agreed to

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
   Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1980 worker's strike in 
Poland and the birth of the Solidarity Trade Union, the first free and 
 independent trade union established in the Soviet-dominated countries 
                               of Europe.

Whereas, on May 9, 1945, Europe declared victory over the oppression of the Nazi 
        regime;
Whereas, Poland and other countries in Central, Eastern, and Southern Europe 
        soon fell under the oppressive control of the Soviet Union;
Whereas for decades the people of Poland struggled heroically for freedom and 
        democracy against that oppression;
Whereas, in June 1979, Pope John Paul II, the former Cardinal Karol Wojtyla, 
        returned to Poland, his homeland, and exhorted his countrymen to ``be 
        not afraid'' of the Communist regime;
Whereas, in 1980, the Solidarity Trade Union (known in Poland as ``NSZZ 
        Solidarnosc'') was formed in Poland under the leadership of Lech Walesa 
        and during the 1980s the actions of its leadership and members sparked a 
        great social movement committed to promoting fundamental human rights, 
        democracy, and the independence of Poland from the Soviet Union (known 
        as the ``Solidarity Movement'');
Whereas, in July and August of 1980, workers in Poland in the shipyards of 
        Gdansk and Szczecin, led by Lech Walesa and other leaders of the 
        Solidarity Trade Union, went on strike to demand greater political 
        freedom;
Whereas that strike was carried out in a peaceful and orderly manner;
Whereas, in August 1980, the Communist Government of Poland yielded to the 21 
        demands of the striking workers, including the release of all political 
        prisoners, the broadcasting of religious services on television and 
        radio, and the right to establish independent trade unions;
Whereas the Communist Government of Poland introduced martial law in December 
        1981 in an attempt to block the growing influence of the Solidarity 
        Movement;
Whereas the support of the Polish-American community was essential and crucial 
        for the Solidarity Movement to survive and remain active during that 
        difficult time;
Whereas the people of the United States were greatly supportive of the efforts 
        of the people of Poland to rid themselves of an oppressive government 
        and people in the United States lit candles in their homes on Christmas 
        Eve 1981, to show their solidarity with the people of Poland who were 
        suffering under martial law;
Whereas Lech Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983 for continuing his 
        struggle for freedom in Poland;
Whereas the Solidarity Movement persisted underground during the period when 
        martial law was imposed in Poland and emerged in April 1989 as a 
        powerful national movement;
Whereas, in February 1989, the Communist Government of Poland agreed to conduct 
        roundtable talks with leaders of the Solidarity Movement;
Whereas such talks led to the holding of elections for the National Assembly of 
        Poland in June 1989 in which nearly all open seats were won by 
        candidates supported by the Solidarity Movement, and led to the election 
        of Poland's first Prime Minister during the post-war era who was not a 
        member of the Communist party, Mr. Tadeusz Mazowiecki;
Whereas, the Solidarity Movement ended communism in Poland without bloodshed and 
        inspired Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and other nations to do the same, and 
        the activities of its leaders and members were part of the historic 
        series of events that led to the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 
        1989;
Whereas, on November 15, 1989, Lech Walesa's historic speech before a joint 
        session of Congress, beginning with the words ``We the people'', stirred 
        a standing ovation from the Members of Congress;
Whereas, on December 9, 1989, Lech Walesa was elected President of Poland; and
Whereas there is a bond of friendship between the United States and Poland, 
        which is a close and invaluable United States ally, a contributing 
        partner in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a reliable 
        partner in the war on terrorism, and a key contributor to international 
        efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan: Now, therefore, let it be
    Resolved, That the Senate--
            (1) declares August 31, 2005, to be Solidarity Day in the 
        United States to recognize the 25th anniversary of the 
        establishment in Poland of the Solidarity Trade Union (known in 
        Poland as the ``NSZZ Solidarnosc''), the first free and 
        independent trade union established in the Soviet-dominated 
        countries of Europe;
            (2) honors the people of Poland who risked their lives to 
        restore liberty in Poland and to return Poland to the 
        democratic community of nations; and
            (3) calls on the people of the United States to remember 
        the struggle and sacrifice of the people of Poland and that the 
        results of that struggle contributed to the fall of communism 
        and the ultimate end of the Cold War.
                                 <all>

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