Poles reported quiet, but anxious
It was a quiet Monday in Poland, with only official media commentaries to reflect widespread anxiety over the Aug. 31 anniversary of the founding of Solidarity, Monitor correspondent Eric Bourne reports.
In Warsaw, the visible security presence was relatively light until mid-afternoon, when considerable units of riot police - many already helmeted - appeared in the city center. One large group stood at attention by the lofty, spired Palace of Culture, where reportedly workers from one of Warsaw's biggest enterprises had been urged to gather.
One can only wait and see just what impact has been made by government and church appeals for public restraint and calm.
For the authorities, it is not so much a question of the effectiveness of their warnings as it is when they can start to close the continued credibility gap between themselves and the bulk of the nation.
The government's latest appeal sounded a notably milder line than last week's harsh, repetitive warnings of the consequences of any dramatic response to underground calls for demonstrations.
The Monday papers continued the theme of conciliation from Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski's Sunday speech, in which he strongly emphasized continued commitment to the reform program enshrined in the August 1980 strike settlements.
A visitor to Gdansk reported only small gatherings at the shipyard memorial to the worker victims of the 1970 riots. A floral cross and wreaths - most anonymous, but some bearing the name of a Solidarity region or a factory - were laid at the foot of the memorial