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Miners' protest

On 11th of September nearly 10 thousand miners from Silesia protested against the closing of the mines. Last year the government said about necessity of dismissing 30 thousand miners . Under the threat of general strike the government withdrew their plans and retracted their statement.It proved to be just a pretence.

A clash between police and demonstrators started right from the beginning. The march targeted first the headquarters of the ruling SLD. Stones were thrown towards the building. Then the demonstration, that had in the meantime been made illegal, moved in front of the Ministry of Economy. There they clashed with the cordons protecting the governments' buildings. Demonstrators used , bangers metal rods and Molotovs cocktails, police-water canons, CS sprays and rubber bullets .The façade of the building was damaged. 40 window glass were smashed. As a result of fights 62 policemen were hurt, some of them badly. 22miners were given medical help, but the exact number of wounded is unknown.Home Officer assessed the damage for more than 200 thousand zlotys (nearly 50 thousand dollars).

The government wants to punish protesting miners.They are to be arrested and the media has started a war against the organisators of the protest. Although not all press coments are disapproving.Famous Silesian film and theatre director Kazimierz Kutz answering the question of Gazeta Wyborcza (the biggest nationwide newspaper) said "These people are defending themselves against degradation , inhuman treatment .I can't listen to this whimper, how many windows were smashed in the Ministry! For them the mob came and shit in the lounge. For the government there's no place for a man dying of hunger.And if they try to do the same as Margaret Thatcher did with the miners they will regret it.The method to catch and break won't work in Poland.We need to remember that the miners live in a small area and there are a lot of them. It's a ticking bomb."While the editor of the biggest local newspaper comments "The miners hear that Great Britan had a bigger problem with their miners but somehow managed to cope with that,under the hard hand of Margaret Thather.England witnessed even bigger marches than we did onThursday.I met Englishmen who until now remember their ex-premier with repulsion. They recollect contemporary papers full of news about suicides,the rapid increase in the number of alcohol and drugs addicts. Many who were made redundant have never found a job and stay on government benefits. Our reformers, who for a few years have been proclaiming a solution to the problem of the mining industry shouldn't look to the British patterns because it won't do them any good.Quite stupidly we accepted the change with its poverty, unemployment and increase of crime."

Infuriated representatives of the unions promise further protests.On the12th of September meetings took place in the Silesian mines."At the Friday meetings [the miners] agreed with my opinion-said Marek Klementowski, vice president of miners "Solidarnosc"-We need 10 thousand going to the capital. I am sure On the way more people will join us and there will be a 100 thousand ."

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