Scholar Interviews

What is significant about the leaflet?


This is not the kind of source you expect to see at a strike, certainly not a Solidarity strike. The Solidarity model of strikes was you occupy the factory, you sleep there, you have all your meals there. A priest comes in and takes confession and holds masses maybe several times a day. And there’s a kind of a sacred space around the gate where flowers are put, where banners are hung up, where pictures of the Virgin Mary are hung up. And maybe there are crosses and things like that and people are passing food back and forth.

And much of that was going on there as well, but now we see there’s another angle that’s coming in where here are these anarchists who are involved in the strike and are bringing a completely different style to the strike, both a different way of acting and a different set of demands, too.

I would say that one of the things that happens at this moment is that, the Communist authorities had an idea that they had sort of pacified the country. You’ll always have strikes but you can deal with it. I don’t want to say that they’re now frightened by these anarchists, but it does suggest a kind of a bridging of gaps that might lead to new, unpredictable protest movements. Once the anarchists and the workers get together, who knows what’s going to happen?

How to Cite

Padraic Kenney, interview, "What is significant about the leaflet?" Making the History of 1989, Item #590, (accessed September 25 2018, 4:39 am).