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14-11-1982

Walesa released from jail

The city of Gdansk, birthplace of Poland's historic shipyard strike, celebrates the homecoming of Solidarity leader Lech Walesa on November 14, 1982. Walesa, Poland's champion of trade unionism, was imprisoned in 1981 as part of communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski's crackdown on the Solidarity movement, but supporters called for the middle-aged electrician's release in street demonstrations, union meetings, and church gatherings. Not even the forces of martial law could silence the national cry to Free Lech! Walesa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1983, and in 1990 he became Poland's first democratically elected leader.