EASTERN EUROPE: NEW DIRECTIONS FOR OPPOSITION

Created: 12/16/1986

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

Special Analysis

EASTERN EUROPb: New Direction, for Opposition"

Dissident groups In Eastern Europe ere adopting new tsctlcs and taking up new Issues to win popular support end Increase their Influence on regime policies. Several governments hsve taken over Issues raised by the dissidents, especially envlronmentel problems; all have taken or threatened to teke tough ectlons to prevent the spread of opposition activity. Nonetheless, opposition Ideas may gain greeter prominence In the futureew generation comes ot political age.

In Poland. Solidarity is trying toetwork ol overt councils that wouldore ellecllve platlorm Irom which to bring pressure on theew and relatively small organization. Freedom and Peace, is winning youthlul support lor Ms opposition to military service, which is worrying the authorities,

In East Germany, some of the prime movers behind the peace movement ol theave turned their attention to human rights issues. The Honecker regime Is increasingly concorned about the dissidents' focus on domestic problems, circulation ol petitions, and unwillingness to leave East Germany. The authorities have put an unusual amount ol pressure on the Lutheran Church to distance rtsell Irom the dissidents. I

Environmental issues, especially alter the Chernobyl' accident, provide fertile ground lor dissident activity. East German authorities look the unprecedented step of reassuring the public afteretition complaining about the use of nuclear power. The Polish parliament also formally respondeditizens' petition that expressed concern about nuclear power, but It reaffirmed the official line that Poland must proceed with its development program. |

In Hungary, opposition to the buildingam along the borderresulted In petitions and street protests andmeasures earlier

this year.some party members

Fimni fibim

sympathetic lo the public's concerr^bout the dam. The authorities in Budapest have also responded to members of the oppositionressed dismay at the late of ethnic Hungarians in F

continued

Increased Outside Contacia

The dissident organizations are trying to expand their contacts with each other. The most dramatic example occurred this fallissidents from Hungary. Poland. East Germany, and Czechoslovakia signed the Budapest Appeal commemorating6 Hungarian revolution.major Hungarian dissident groups werescTraouTed to meet secretly last week to discuss the revolution, only the second time the divergent strands ol the Hungarian opposition have met toommon agenda.F)

Dissidents are also increasing their contacts with Western groups, such as the West German Green Party. Irom which the East Europeans derive encouragement, advice, and some material help. Concern about these contacts has caused the authorities to lilt passports and increase surveillance.F)

Outlook

With the exception ol Solidarity In Poland, most ol the opposition groups remain small, divided, and isolated, but party leaders may havo to pay more attention to their grievances than in the past. These groups do oiler alternative solutionsrowing number of economic, social, and environmental problems; as the societies become Increasingly alienated Irom their rulers, they may be quicker to seize on issues that could be embarrassing to the regimes; and new groups seem to arise quickly In the region during periods ol change.

There Is little chance any ol these groups willirect say in politics or that the ruling parties will move toward Western-style pluralism. But younger parly leaders may soonetter understanding ol the grievances expressed by the opposition, and these Issues may prove divisive within the regimes as Ihe next generation comes lo power.

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