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Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:18 PM

 

Poland's Solidarity Union Rebukes Romney Upon Former Leader's Endorsement

Source: Huffington Post

Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney may have earned an apparent endorsement from former Polish president Lech Walesa on Monday, but no such kind words were coming from Poland's storied Solidarnosc (Solidarity) trade union, which Walesa and others founded in 1980.

Upon Romney's visit to the Gdansk shipyards, the site of historic Polish worker strikes during the Soviet era, Solidarnosc issued a press release saying it is "in no way involved" in the Romney meeting with Walesa and had no "initiative" to invite the American candidate to Poland.

The union expressed dismay at Romney's anti-union stances in the U.S., saying it would stand alongside the AFL-CIO, the American labor federation that has endorsed Obama and remains highly critical of Romney.

"Regretfully, we have learned from our friends in the American trade union central AFL-CIO representing over 12 million workers about Mitt Romney's support for the attacks against trade unions and labor rights," Andrzej Adamczyk, the head of the union's international department, wrote. "In this respect, I wish to express... our solidarity with American workers and trade unions. will always support the AFL-CIO in their struggle for the right of workers to organize and bargain collectively."

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/07/30/polands-solidarity-romney-visit_n_1720054.html?utm_hp_ref=elections-2012

31 replies, 7497 views

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Arrow 31 replies Author Time Post
Reply Poland's Solidarity Union Rebukes Romney Upon Former Leader's Endorsement (Original post)
stockholmer Jul 2012 OP
Nancy Waterman Jul 2012 #1
grasswire Jul 2012 #2
docgee Jul 2012 #31
Laurian Jul 2012 #3
msongs Jul 2012 #6
starroute Jul 2012 #8
QUALITYCONTRoll Jul 2012 #14
cyclezealot Jul 2012 #15
SunSeeker Jul 2012 #19
boppers Jul 2012 #20
SunSeeker Jul 2012 #22
Igel Jul 2012 #21
cali Jul 2012 #26
nxylas Jul 2012 #27
obamanut2012 Jul 2012 #29
Cal Carpenter Jul 2012 #4
Laurian Jul 2012 #7
freshwest Jul 2012 #10
caseymoz Jul 2012 #11
cyclezealot Jul 2012 #16
Uncle Joe Jul 2012 #5
nolabear Jul 2012 #9
Scurrilous Jul 2012 #12
libodem Jul 2012 #13
ohgeewhiz Jul 2012 #17
Betty Jo Jul 2012 #18
aquart Jul 2012 #23
suffragette Jul 2012 #24
JohnnyRingo Jul 2012 #25
Laurian Jul 2012 #28
Bluenorthwest Jul 2012 #30

Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:20 PM

1. Workers of the world should indeed unite

I think this is awesome and a slap in the face to the Kind of Panderers.

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:20 PM

2. solidarity

workers of the world, unite

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Response to grasswire (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 07:58 PM

31. Global Solidarity!

I like it!

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:22 PM

3. Why would Welesa be pro-Romney? When did he go round the bend?

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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:34 PM

6. because all he has going for him is his faded glory from the ship yard days? nt

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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:42 PM

8. My impression is Walesa has gotten increasingly conservative over the years

I'll see what I can find ... I'll update if I come up with something.

On edit: Here's a list of conservative colleges that describes a lecture series at one that has included "Margaret Thatcher, John Ashcroft, William F. Buckley Jr., Sean Hannity, Zell Miller, Lech Walesa, Steve Forbes, George W. Bush, and J.C. Watts." (http://www.yaf.org/innerpagetemplate.aspx?id=3368)


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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 07:07 PM

14. money talks...right Welesa

A few buck in the pocket...NO question...

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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 08:16 PM

15. He is a religious fanatic.

His mind is going . Or maybe he's as authoritarian as the Communist regime he once protested.

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Response to cyclezealot (Reply #15)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 10:16 PM

19. Lech Walesa is a money-bloated has-been traitor to his movement. nt

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #19)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 10:19 PM

20. You mis-spelled "faith bloated".

Religion in Poland is pretty messed up.

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Response to boppers (Reply #20)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 12:44 AM

22. Religion is pretty messed up here too. nt

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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 12:30 AM

21. He didn't.

Polish politics are not US politics. Such ethnocentrism is misplaced.

Many liberals in the former Soviet bloc were conservatives. "Liberal" was still more like what it meant 150 years ago in the West. To be liberal was to be for laissez-faire, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, for some say of the little man in public policy and against forced collectivism.

Heck, even when I got to grad school in the late '80s a lot of people had trouble saying bad things about the USSR, and it wasn't just because of scholarly and travel links. Esp. among undergrads and non-linguists. Say "Solidarity" and they'd roll their eyes. The troublemaker Walesa with his outrageous, pointless demands.

American labor unions had a problem in Russia. They'd been staunchly pro-USSR for a while. Then a bit less so, but they usually waffled. Solzhenitsyn made the US uncomfortable. In the 1970s US labor unions had trouble with a sharply anti-Soviet position, even under Carter. The best they did was have little opinion on the matter. When Reagan was anti-soviet, domestic politics still meant more than human rights. That was Solidarnosc's time. The union's were not about to stand by Reagan as he supported Solidarnosc. Solidarnosc was the labor movement's orphan.

The worker's demands at the time were old-school liberal. Solidarnosc was never really conservative because the term made no sense. It also wasn't "progressive". It was liberal. What it wanted as big compared to most labor union demands.

It was only more than a decade later, when Polish became more western that the West managed, in large measure, to transplant its politics to Poland. Solidarnosc's demands became more picayune. At the same time, their rhetoric became more old-school communist, and the rebranded communists, the same in new packaging, found a home there. Think of it as social pole reversal. Or Pole reversal. Walesa had a major falling out by then. He moved on. He'd won, and if somebody else wanted to move into his pillbox, he didn't care too incredibly much.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 03:54 AM

26. He's been around the bend for the last 2 decades

and in some ways he was always there.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 07:42 AM

27. The ghost of Andrew Breitbart bamboozled him into endorsing Romney

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Response to Laurian (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 09:12 AM

29. Because he has ALWAYS been a Social Teabagger

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:27 PM

4. Rofl

Still don't understand why people would expect different from Walesa but there is a history of confusion around here about him.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x2115158#top

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=439x2166675#2166816

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Response to Cal Carpenter (Reply #4)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:42 PM

7. I guess I thought as leader of a labor movement, he would have nothing in common

with Romney. I admit I have no in depth knowledge about him. Reading through the links gives me the feeling he is a walking contradiction. Perhaps another case of the "I Got Mine" syndrome that seems to afflict many so called leaders.

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Response to Laurian (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 03:17 PM

10. Lech Walesa was union, anti-communist and a strong Catholic.

His effort to push back what the state at that time was doing was supported by Reagan and Pope Paul II. He is conservative, not like most unionists in the rest of Europe. Here is a story that shows the Reagan influence there:

Polish officials unveil statue of Ronald Reagan with Pope John Paul II


Polish officials unveiled a statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II on Saturday, honoring two men widely credited in this Eastern European country with helping to topple communism 23 years ago.

A miniature stands in front of the new statue of former President Ronald Reagan and Pope John Paul II that was unveiled in Gdansk, Poland, on Saturday, July 14, 2012. The statue honors the two men whom many Poles credit with helping to topple communism. The statue was unveiled in Gdansk, the birthplace of Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement, in the presence of about 120 former Solidarity activists, many of whom were imprisoned in the 1980s for their roles in organizing or taking part in strikes against the communist regime.

The bronze statue, erected in the lush seaside President Ronald Reagan Park, is a slightly larger-than-life rendering of the two late leaders. It was inspired by an Associated Press photograph taken in 1987 on John Paul's second pontifical visit to the U.S.


http://www.zimbio.com/Lech+Walesa/articles/6gNIJ_AqDYO/Polish+officials+unveil+statue+Ronald+Reagan

I agree with your sentiment of the "I Got Mine" syndrome, as I know some who are in unions and owe everything to unions. Their retirement, health benefits, working conditions have all been protected by unions, but they feel they are different than others. Most have been in the military or come from wealthy families and feel they have just worked harder than others.

They also believe because of their childhood religious training, that the End of the Worldİ is upon us. Part of that is believing things are going to get very, very bad, so you must hold onto everything you have. You don't want to pay taxes as you might need that money. You have faith in the next life, not this one or anything that will make this life better. Some religions teach, 'Do not love the world, or anything in it.' There is a spiritual meaning to that, but some take it as standing aloof.

I expect that Lech and a number of people in Poland, who also helped out Bush in the War on Terra, see themselves as quite different than what we might assume a union organizer is. That was the most media ballyhooed 'union' event in history as I remember it. The coverage was as emotional and called into play all the iconic visions as the Israeli Six-Day War.

Reaganites still cite that as how he 'destroyed Communism.'

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Response to Laurian (Reply #7)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 04:42 PM

11. Poland is socially conservative.


Even though the country is solidly pro-union, it's also overwhelmingly Catholic, and devout. Walesa himself staunchly opposes reproductive rights, gay marriage and in vitro fertilization, all of which are similar to Romney.

Also, he's quite reactionary, as some who rebelled against communism get to be. (See Alexander Solzenitsyn.) He oversaw the privatization of Poland's economy, and some say that was somewhat corrupt.

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Response to caseymoz (Reply #11)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 08:20 PM

16. Romney's war hawk tour of Israel

needed a Polish ending to solidify Christian fundamentalism. Not long ago Walesa was seen happily receiving Rick Santorum . enough said.

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:27 PM

5. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, stockholmer.

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 02:54 PM

9. Chickens, meet roost.

I mean the mother of all unions, for chrissake. What did he think would happen?

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 05:03 PM

12. K & R

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 06:25 PM

13. good

Effing good!

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 08:28 PM

17. Mitt Romney lays big turds wherever he goes!

 

Massachusetts, England, Israel, Poland.

Nothing but stuff that needs to be cleaned up the day he leaves.

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Mon Jul 30, 2012, 09:25 PM

18. BAIN OPENS NEW OFFICE IN WARSAW

 

I wonder if Mitty will visit the newest Bain office ?

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 01:24 AM

23. Go Solidarity!

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 02:17 AM

24. K&R

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 03:51 AM

25. I was wondering what Walesa was doing greeting a union buster.

Apparently he didn't know that Romney would have crushed the Solidarity Movement in Poland if he'd been in charge. I hope he was unaware of who he was feting.

On edit:
I read some of the comments above, and wonder if Walesa knew exactly who he was talking to. -Sad.

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 08:57 AM

28. Thanks, everyone! I learned a lot from this thread.

Probably the most important lesson for me is to resist trying to simply equate the political systems and movements in other countries to those in the US. To do so is ego-centric and an unreasonable way to view a complicated world.

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Response to stockholmer (Original post)

Tue Jul 31, 2012, 10:57 AM

30. Walesa is a right wing homophobe and full time sexist

He has used language about eliminating gay people from Poland, a place that knows a bit about the elimination of minorities. He's a sick twisted right winger.
http://www.identitychicago.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=28492

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