Lech Walesa was simply an electrician at the Lenin Shipyards in Gdansk Poland. The 1970s were an economically crushing time for his people, and Lech decided to speak out against the economic hardships that his Marxist socialist government was bringing upon them.

The socialists put him under surveillance, then had him arrested several times. He would not shut up about the lack of freedom in his land. In 1976 he was fired from his job. When the government owns everything…where do you go for a job?

He continued agitation against the elitists in power, formed an illegal trade union known as Solidarity, and was a force behind several crippling strikes. If the government would not listen to the people…fine…the people would refuse to work.

The strikes worked, and forced the Communists to give concessions in what was called the Gdansk Agreement of 1980. This agreement guaranteed free speech, freedom of the press, availability of the mass media to people of all religions, and certain economic concessions.

Of course, this was an agreement with Communists…who do not believe in any moral absolute. Their mantra is “might makes right”, and “by any means necessary.”

So, the Communists put Poland under martial law from 1981-1983, trying to stamp out this freedom movement. Lech and his Solidarity movement were all considered enemies of the state, many were arrested because they would not march in lock-step with Marxists, and basic movement of everyone was severely restricted.

Lech and his supporters never gave up. He was eventually released from prison, continued to speak out for freedom and against Marxist socialism, and…well hopefully you know the rest of the story.

In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, Soviet-communist governments collapsed all over Europe, and in 1990 Lech Walesa was elected President of Poland in the first free election in that land since 1926.

Never lose heart. Never give up.