Intent on Democracy: The Freedom and Peace Movement in Poland | Sojourners

Intent on Democracy: The Freedom and Peace Movement in Poland

JACEK CZAPUTOWICZ HAS BEEN a leader in the Freedom and Peace (WiP) movement in Warsaw since its beginnings in 1985. Prior to that he was involved in the independent student movement associated with Solidarity and spent time in prison during Poland's martial law period. In February 1986 Czaputowicz and another WiP leader were arrested and charged with "founding and directing an illegal association" and "cooperating with representatives of foreign organizations and intending to harm Poland's interests." Czaputowicz was released seven months later. Three weeks after the East-West conference in May, he was fined the equivalent of two-and-a-half months' wage for his role in organizing the event.

Czaputowicz's wife, Magdalena Sadowska-Czaputowicz, is also active in Freedom and Peace, and the Warsaw apartment they share with their three daughters is the hub of WiP activity. Czaputowicz was interviewed there by Polly Duncan, associate director of Sojourners Peace Ministry. --The Editors

Sojourners: Would you discuss the origins of Freedom and Peace (WiP) and give a brief history of the movement?

Jacek Czaputowicz: It started about two-and-a-half years ago when Marek Adamkiewicz was arrested for refusing military service. A group of his colleagues who belonged to the independent students' movement in the early period of Solidarity took up his defense. We organized a week-long hunger strike in Podkowa Lesna, outside of Warsaw, in order to try to free him.

A month later, in April 1985, a group from Cracow made public a declaration of the Freedom and Peace movement. During the next several months, groups in other cities came out in support of this declaration.

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