Poland will be commemorating the birth of the Solidarity movement 25 years ago. It was the only independent mass political movement to emerge inside the Soviet bloc. Read an interview with Lech Walesa here. The Solidarnosc movement led the way to the breaking down of the barriers and to the fall of communist Russia. The principle of solidarity found its way into the political mainstream and is also reflected in the papal encyclical “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis” by Polish Pope John Paul II in 1987.It also found its way to Malta in the middle of the troublesome eighties. Adopted by a Nationalist party in what was then percieved as a struggle out of a socialist way of life, it represents for people like myself a time when one was still proud to take up the cause with the Nationalist party. Solidarity is at the roots of Christian Democracy… one of the building blocks of a better society which still understands the meaning of compassion. Real christian democracy which goes beyond the rhetoric and translates into action.
I still recall the stickers with the logo like the one above being distributed at PN mass meetings. It felt good to be part of a greater cause, a greater idea that would not only change the country but change the world. While we were attending school classes in clandestine garages and while our dads listened to the radio in the morning with trepidation wondering whether thugs or bombs had been set loose again we could not help but feel part of the electricity of the moment. Sometimes I wonder whether today’s politicans lived through that era too. Sometimes I wonder whether they remember what we set out to build in those early days for modern Maltese politics. Sometimes I wonder if Solidarnosc reached Malta after all.