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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

30th Anniversary of the Polish Solidarity Movement

Press Statement
Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
August 30, 2010


When the brave men and women of the Gdansk shipyards stood up against an oppressive regime and demanded their right to form an independent trade union 30 years ago, their courage gave birth to Solidarity. What started as a union of workers became an extraordinary social movement for individual liberty, dignity, and human rights that ignited a democratic revolution. Solidarity’s uncontainable messages of hope and freedom in Poland spread throughout Central Europe and helped speed the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.

We honor those who stood against tyranny 30 years ago and all who followed in their wake. The heroes of Solidarity knew that the Polish people desired and deserved more from their country, and they laid the foundation for the Poland we see today. Thanks to their valor and their commitment to liberty, Poland is now a key NATO ally, a thriving democracy, and a beacon of hope to many who still suffer oppression. Poland is a leading voice in the Community of Democracies and a valued partner with the United States to advance our shared goals of freedom and human dignity. Poland’s work promoting stability, security, and prosperity in Afghanistan is further evidence of this strong commitment. We thank the people of Poland for your partnership and honor your historic dedication to liberty. On behalf of the people of the United States, I send my warmest regards to the Polish people as you commemorate the 30th anniversary of the birth of the Solidarity movement.

PRN: 2010/1170


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