Mass in the Church of The Exaltation of the Holy Cross, Katowice, southern Poland, began the main part of the ceremony, commemorating nine miners from the ‘Wujek’ who died 38 years ago from police bullets during the pacification of the strike.
Later, participants of the ceremony went to the Cross-Monument at the mine, where Prime Minister Morawiecki delivered a speech and a letter from President Andrzej Duda was read to the public.
"Poland is the unwavering will of Poles to fight for a better future, freedom and solidarity; such steadfast will made itself felt 38 years ago in the Wujek mine, "said Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki during the ceremony.
“It happened that in the history of our homeland that ‘Wujek’ ’was recorded primarily as a place of great sacrifice, made in the name of freedom and solidarity,” - wrote President Andrzej Duda.
The ‘Wujek’ pacification was the greatest tragedy of martial law. The protest in this mine began at the news of the arrest of the head of the mine’s Solidarity union Jan Ludwiczak. Solidarity members and miners started a strike. On December 16, tanks crossed the mine wall, and armed ZOMO troops entered the plant to end the strike in the mine. After that, a special ZOMO platoon fired in the miner’s direction. Six miners died on the spot, one died several hours after the operation. Two more miners died from wounds at the beginning of January 1982.
In June 2008, the Court of Appeal in Katowice sentenced the former special platoon commander Romuald C. to six years in prison and sentenced thirteen of his subordinates to 3.5 to 4 years in prison. The cassation appeals were dismissed in 2009 by the Supreme Court - the judgment became final nearly 28 years after the tragedy.
Last Friday - on the anniversary of the imposition of martial law - the District Court in Katowice sentenced Roman S. - one of the former members of the special platoon ZOMO, to 3.5 years in prison. He had a separate trial because he was only detained a few months ago in Croatia and then handed over to Poland.