The Figthing Solidarity Organization
In early summer of 1982, Kornel Morawiecki and some of his close associates founded the underground anticommunist organization in Poland known as The Fighting Solidarity Organization (FSO). The rise of the FSO was caused by a divergence of views among “Solidarity” Trade Union leaders regarding methods used to fight against communism following the imposition of Martial Law in Poland. One of the main aims of the Organization was to regain the independence of Poland and so to free the nation from the communist oppression. Thus, the Fighting Solidarity Organization distinctly separated itself from trade union activity and focused on the struggle for independence from the communist regime. The Fighting Solidarity Organization vocally demanded the resignation of the communist regime while predicting its imminent collapse. The FSO was accused of a lack of realism by both the communist regime and some opposition leaders; nevertheless almost all of its predictions came to pass.
In its ranks the Fighting Solidarity Organization embraced more than 2000 dedicated members and many supporters; it had several regional departments throughout the country as well as some representatives abroad, including the Soviet Union. The Organization was governed by the Council and Executive Committee led by the organization’s president, Kornel Morawiecki. The activity of the Fighting Solidarity Organization comprised but was not limited to printing and distributing anti-communist newspapers, brochures and books, broadcasting independent radio news, and organizing street demonstrations and workers’ strikes. Though differing in strategic goals, the FSO unofficially cooperated with underground structures of the trade union movement “Solidarity” and often provided technical support to the “Solidarity”.
The Fighting Solidarity Organization also had its own intelligence service, which in many cases helped to avoid the arrests of its members. The intelligence service was mostly based on radio surveillance of secret service air communication but also relied upon information from informers who supported the FSO from inside the secret service. In the second half of the 80’s the FSO actively supported opposition movements in other countries of Eastern Europe and the USSR. Emissaries of the Fighting Solidarity Organization reached anti-communist opposition in Lithuania, Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, and Belarus and also in Moldavia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Azerbaijan. The FSO provided assistance to opposition groups abroad sharing with them its combat experience. The emissaries smuggled printing and electronic equipment, leaflets of the FSO and underground publications in Russian, Czech, Hungarian and Ukrainian languages across the border. In 1989 the FSO initiated and coordinated a two-week seminar for Soviet dissidents in Wroclaw. The main aim of seminar was to share the Polish experience of anti-communist struggle with Soviet dissidents.
In 1989 on moral and political grounds the Fighting Solidarity Organization protested against an agreement that was reached between communists and Polish opposition leaders (the so-called “round table” agreement). In 1992 the FSO ceased its underground existence. Subsequently, some of its leaders tried to continue their legal political activity in the ranks of a Freedom Party as the majority of Polish society did not accept the radical anti-communist program at that time. The political alliance of some “Solidarity” Trade Union Organization leaders with former communists caused some division between former members of the FSO regarding the role of radical anti-communism in Poland. However, this alliance soon lost its appeal and political power in Polish society proving once again the legitimacy of the firm stand against communism declared by the Fighting Solidarity Organization.
In June 2007 the Fighting Solidarity Organization celebrated its 25th anniversary and its legacy in the contemporary history of Poland.