Polish regime gains first objective - but reaction grows under surface
Vienna — Nearly 48 hours after the clampdown, the Polish Communist government's proclamation of military rule seemed to have accomplished its first objective: Poland was comparatively quiet.
But reaction to General Wojciech Jaruzelski's draconian clampdown seemed to be building up under the surface on Monday, the first working day since the proclamation.
Solidarity clearly was struggling to pick up the pieces of its rudely shaken organization. Earlier, it was like a giant vessel adrift. Its offices in Warsaw and throughout the country were in effect under occupation, many of its leading officials were detained, and the union was bereft of the big telex network it had built up to link working enterprises all over Poland.
Solidarity had long been preparing for just such a contingency. But the swiftness and thoroughness of the government operation threw most of its emergency organization into disarray.
The leadership's greatest concern will be the response from the workers. At first this was confined to relatively minor flareups of anger - for example, outside the union's Warsaw headquarters - and scattered work stoppages.
But there were signs later Monday that many workers had failed to go to their jobs. Despite the crackdown, Solidarity defied martial law and issued a list of factories and mines affected by strikes.
One Solidarity official claimed that the union had set up a headquarters in the Lenin shipyard in Gdansk where the union movement was launched 16 months ago. He said that a number of factories and mines around the country were occupied by workers. In Warsaw, for example, an Ursus strike spokesman was quoted as saying that several thousand workers were inside the giant tractor plant which was surrounded by troops.
Outside the big Warsaw automobile plant that turns out several hundred thousand Polish Fiats annually, reporters were told 80 percent of the work force was absent or idle. Polish radio conceded that workers had downed tools in four unspecified plants.
Unofficial sources said workers in a southern steel works were electing officials to replace those who had been detained. With Poland's internal communications under strict military control and resident foreign correspondents confined to Warsaw, there is little information from provincial centers.
But the armed forces are in direct control now of key centers such as the Baltic ports, airports, railroads, mines, power stations, and telecommunications.
It means that workers in these installations who defy orders can face Army courts martial. Under the emergency regulations, the military courts will be authorized to hand down severe summary sentences and even death penalties for major offenses.
There is still no information as to just how many persons have been detained. Announcing the emergency early Sunday General Jaruzelski promised that a full list would be published. But most of the few named so far have been leading members of the pre-August 1980 regime who are said to be under detention for the ''protection of the state.''
The number of Solidarity officials being held seems certain to run into at least several hundred. One report said that the whole national commission of the union had been taken into custody at the Baltic port of Gdansk, where Solidarity was born 16 months ago.
It seems that only union chairman Lech Walesa was left at large, and a government spokesman has told reporters he was, in fact, talking with the authorities. At time of writing, nothing more had been said of his whereabouts.
One early stirring of protest against the military takeover came Monday from 120 intellectuals. They demanded the release of all the detainees, some from their own cultural circles but mostly activists from major Solidarity centers taken in as the emergency came into force. The intellectuals called the detentions unjustifiable and charged that by instituting military rule Poland's leaders had broken off dialogue on the reform program.
With the government acting so decisively, however, it is questionable whether such intellectuals' protest will have any great impact. They seem unlikely to distract the regime from the course it has finally adopted to stop the crisis before - as General Jaruzelski claimed - it was too late.