Proclamation 4891 -- Solidarity Day
January 20, 1982
By the President of the United States
Solidarnosc, the Polish free trade union Solidarity Movement, was born not only of the failure of
the Polish Government to meet the needs of its people but also from a tradition of freedom
preserved and nourished by the proud Polish people through two centuries of foreign and
Solidarity symbolizes the battle of real workers in a so-called workers' state to sustain the
fundamental human and economic rights they began to win in Gdansk in 1980 -- the right to work
and reap the fruits of one's labor, the right to assemble, the right to strike, and the right to
freedom of expression. Solidarity sought to address and to resolve Poland's deep-rooted
economic ills; it acted in good faith and pursued a path of constructive dialogue with the Polish
Despite these peaceful efforts on the part of Solidarity, a brutal wave of repression has descended
on Poland. The imposition of martial law has stripped away all vestiges of newborn freedom.
Authorities have resorted to arbitrary detentions, and the use of force, resulting in violence and
loss of life; the free flow of people, ideas and information has been suppressed; the human rights
clock in Poland has been turned back more than 30 years. The target of this repression is the
Solidarity Movement but in attacking Solidarity its enemies attack an entire people. Ten million of
Poland's thirty-six million citizens are members of Solidarity. Taken together with their families,
they account for the overwhelming majority of the Polish nation. By persecuting Solidarity, the
Polish military government wages war against its own people.
History shows us that stability in Europe is threatened when Poland is suppressed. The hearts and
minds of free people everywhere stand in Solidarity with the people of Poland in the hour of their
We hold in high esteem the leadership and objectives of Lech Walesa, the head of Solidarity, and
we express our grave concern for his present well-being. As Americans we feel a special affinity
with Solidarity and the basic human values it seeks to uphold, in keeping with the long tradition of
Polish-American friendship and freedom. President Wilson's advocacy of self-determination for
the Polish people helped to bring about a rebirth of the Polish nation earlier in this century.
America stands ready today to provide generous support and assistance to a Poland which has
returned to a path of genuine internal reconciliation.
There is a spirit of Solidarity abroad in the world today that no physical force can crush. It crosses
national boundaries and enters into the hearts of men and women everywhere. In factories, farms
and schools, in cities and towns around the globe, we the people of the Free World stand as one
with our Polish brothers and sisters. Their cause is ours.
Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby
designate January 30, 1982, as Solidarity Day. I urge the people of the United States, and free
peoples everywhere, to observe this day in meetings, demonstrations, rallies, worship services and
all other appropriate expressions of support. We will show our Solidarity with the courageous
people of Poland and call for an end to their repression, the release of all those arbitrarily
detained, the restoration of the internationally recognized rights of the Polish people, and the
resumption of internal dialogue and reconciliation in keeping with fundamental human rights.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of January, in the year of our
Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America
the two hundred and sixth.
[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 11:42 a.m., January 20, 1982]