POLAND: Possible Turning Point
Solidarity and the government are on another oollieion course and will have greater difficulty than ever before in avoiding The chances have increased markedly that the regime will impose martial law even though doing so risks provoku^wideepread disorderilitary intervention by the
Both sides are talking tough. The harsh party Politburo statement as well as the government'sduring talks with the union on Sunday suggest that the party feels compelled to stand firm in che face of union demands over the incident at Bydgoszcz. *BBBj|
The union has put the government on the defensive with its propaganda campaign on police brutality. It also has tried to deny the regime its ultimate weaponeclaration of martial law by moving regional union headquarters into the factories and byeneral strike the automatic response to such an action.
The incident atother Instances of increased police harassment ofbrought to the surface and focused attention on the workers' deep resentment of the repressive activities of the privileged security services. The workers have lost some of their fear of the police, are determined to resist the use of force by the police, and see the incidentest of their resolve. Union leaders believe thatembers and wider popular support they can stand up to tho police and win.
Solidarity's minimum demands probably are high. Many in tho union will not be satisfied with the sacking
ew local policemen in Bydgoszcz and will
adamant that political officials also be dismissed. feTaetl
approved for Kale***
Some activists also want broader assurance that harassment of the unions will atop. Solidarity leader Walesa, who prevented wildcat strikes over this issue last week by threatening bo resign, may now not have the ability or the inclination toeneral strike ifovernment does not show signs of being responsive.
The Regime's Options
The government probably hasough stance because it is under great pressure from hardliners and the Soviets to stand firm, and becauae it may believe Solidarity has exaggerated an incident that was in large measure provoked by union activiatB. Moreover, it does not want to weaken the security forces, one of its few remaining loyal and effective instruments of power.
The regime could try toimited compromise by blaming local police officers. It also could go much further in meeting Solidarity'srefuse to give in at all. The government probably will trya limited compromise first, because this involves the fewest risks, allows it toontinued commitment to political solutions, and Increases its ability toSolidarity as the irresponsible party should no compromise be found.
ompromise is to succeed, however, thewill have to try to bring indirect pressure on Solidarity to moderate its demands. This could involve appeals to the Church, hints of martial law, or threats of military force. The Church may refuse to becomehowever, until the government, hasshown it will act against cases of police brutality, fl H
Some in the regime may bo prepared for greaterbelieving the Soviets still want to avoidIntervention. Consequently, another capitulation by tho government cannot be ruled out, even though it might weaken party chief Kania'a political standing and severely damage relations with Moscow.
If the regime decides not to give in, it must be prepared toeneral There would bepressure on the government to preempttrike by declaring maicial law even though any element of surprise is gone.
ourse raises tho chance of extensive unrestotal impasse between striking workers and security and military forces. Either prospect could lead the Soviets to intervene. Tho party leadership nonetheless appears to be much closer to adopting this course than it has been in the past.
The Soviet Factor
The Soviets probably regard this latest crisisivotal teat of tha Kania regime'a determination to stand firm. Moscow has been urgingourse on Warsaw with increasing forcefulnoss.
The Kremlin has drastically narrowed theroom for compromise by publicly adopting aon the incident at Bydgoszcz. In pastSolidarity and the regime, the Soviets havefrom direct public comment or brokenonly after the issue has been
A "victory" by the government would give Kania'sadly needed boost in Moscow. Should the party again give up more than Solidarity, however, Moscow may begin to push for Kania's replacement by someone more willing toougher line. If the regime does not back off and Solidarityimingeneral strike, Soviet leaders will put even greater pressure on Warsaw to declare martial law.
Moscow realizes thereonsiderable risklaw could load to uncontrollable violence,require direct Soviet military intervention. no evidence indicating the Soviets are readyingforce necessary for an intervention underafter several
months of tactical training and exercises, culminating inoviet forceo in ond around Poland are more prepared for intervention than at any time since last December.Original document.