To judge by the numbers that turned out, the worldwide day of protest Saturday against military rule in Poland was only a lukewarm success. Only about 9,000 of the expected 20,000 turned up at the biggest of the rallies, held in Chicago, according to Monitor contributor Alf Siewers.
Secretary of State Alexander Haig spoke to the enthusiastic crowd in Chicago, now the second largest Polish city in the world.
Rallies organized by Polish and labor groups were also held in New York, Washington D.C., Cleveland, Houston, Columbus, Ohio, Boston, Philadelphia, New Haven, Conn., Fort Worth, Dallas, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa. Demonstrations were held in Tokyo, in several British cities, in Vienna, Copenhagen, The Hague, Berne, Switzerland, in a number of Australian cities, and in about 100 communities in West Germany.
''There is a spirit of solidarity abroad in the world today that no physical force can crush,'' Mr. Haig said in Chicago, reading a message from President Reagan.
Haig in his own speech said that the US ''will not do business as usual with either Poland or the Soviet Union while repression in Poland continues.''
AFL-CIO President Lane Kirkland called for a stop to all grain exports to the Soviet Union and to further credit to the Soviet block. Thomas Gleason, president of the Longshoreman's Union, said his union would consider stopping all Soviet shipping to and from the US if the US takes no further action.
President Reagan, a dozen other Western leaders and American entertainers protested the military clampdown in Poland in a US-sponsored television spectacular beamed by satellite to 50 countries Sunday.