Martial Law in Poland
On 13 December 1981 the authoritarian regime of General Wojciech Jaruzelski imposed martial law in Poland, banned the Solidarity movement, detained thousands of it activists, curtailed human and civil rights, and broke social protests by the brutal use of military and police force. The actions of the Polish government were condemned by western democracies which imposed economic sanctions on People's Poland. The crackdown on Solidarity also resulted in various grass-root initiatives in France, Belgium, Great Britain and Scandinavian countries where Polish activists and local sympathisers established pro-Solidarity committees and networks that organized public protests against the Jaruzelski regime and engaged in various forms of support for opposition in Poland. These actions were often promoted and popularized by posters and leaflets. The Solidarity Posters Collection at the Polish Library POSK in London contains pro-Solidarity memorabilia published and distributed in Western Europe and Poland. Martial law was officially lifted on 22 July 1983.
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