In English: Freedom & Peace Movement

Founding declaration

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Founding Declaration of the Freedom and Peace Movement

We the undersigned, inspired by, in particular, the peace messages delivered by John Paul II, do ordain and establish the Freedom and Peace Movement in Krakow.

1. The fundamental aim of the movement’s activity is to spread the true idea of peace among as many Polish people as we can reach. In his Peace Message in 1979 the Pope said, “The word ‘peace’ has become a catchword which deceives and puts to sleep human vigilance.” In present times the word is most often used by those who, proclaiming the slogans of peace, cooperation, and disarmament, wish in fact to deprive free people of the world of the means and will to protect their liberties. Such practices have become so widespread that more and more people, including the Poles, find the intentions of those preaching “peace” morally dubious and politically foreign. Here is why, first of alI, we want to restore moral and political values to peace activities.

2. Effective warrants for personal liberty for everybody are a necessary condition of peaceful coexistence in the political life of states and nations. Where states have, through coercion, imposed their ideology, where an individual has been deprived of his right to independence and initiative, where traditional political liberties have been abolished, there is no room for peace. So there is no peace in communist-ruled Poland. We wish to do all we can to extend the sphere of human freedom in our country, and thereby give Poland a chance for peace.

3. We would like to cooperate with every movement, institution and person, both in Poland and abroad, that is ready to devote its activity to the cause of peace achieved on terms of freedom. On the other hand, we intend to condemn alI signs of contempt for peace, which are so numerous in the contemporary world, especially when they are justified by ideologies which use violence as an instrument of their success. International terrorism and the planned extermination of the Afghan people in the name of the communist ideology are the most horrible examples of such ideological violence. Elementary human solidarity requires us to break the silence in the face of these extremely dangerous assaults against the idea of peace in the world.

We appeal to everybody who shares our views with a request for active support in our cause.

Signed by:
Ewa Bik, Marek Bik, Radoslaw Huget, Anna Klich, Bogdan Klich, Marek Kozielski, Cezary Michalski, Agata Michalek, Konstanty Miodowicz, Woj ciech Modelski, Jan Rojek, Jan Maria ROkita, Dariusz Rupinski, Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz, Grzegorz Surdy, Barbara Syc, Piotr Swider, Janusz Trybus, Krzysztof Walczyk, Artur Walus, Krzysztof Zydowicz.
Krakow April 14th, 1985

We, the undersigned, join the Freedom and Peace Movement established in Krakow on the 14th of April, 1985, and accept its Founding Declaration.

Jacek Czaputowicz, Jaroslaw Dubiel, Piotr Dąbrowski, Grzegorz Ilka, Jerzy Kolarzowski, Roland Kruk, Maciej Kuron, Piotr Niemczyk, Cezary Orlowicz, Marek Poglod, Konstanty Radziwiłł, Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, Aleksandra Sarata, Rafal Szczerba, Jozef Taran.
Warsaw May 2nd, 1985


The “Freedom and Peace” movement was founded as an expression of the conviction that existing institutions and organizations fail to address issues and circumstances which people of good will should not ignore.

The struggle for human rights, for freedom of speech, press, and assembly, and for the freedom to organize associations is right and just. Right and just are the actions of the independent labor unions, which aim to protect workers from exploitation and injustice.

The Catholic Church, an institution of the highest authority, should be respected for its role as the representative and “advocate of Polish national ideals and universal moral values.” it is an indispensable part of the struggle for human rights o demand religious freedom, and to support the social and cultural initiatives connected with the Church.

The Freedom and Peace movement considers striving for national independence to be just. National oppression is an evil, and eliminating it will lead to freedom for nations and will bring about peace among them.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement takes as its first priority a struggle for human rights, religious freedom, and national independence.

At the present time, the world faces the imminent threat of war, the consequences of which may be irreversible for human civilization. Many Poles are not aware of the reality of this threat, and treat it as an invention of Communist propaganda. Many Poles are not aware of the seriousness of the threat of nuclear war, of the problem of militarism and of a militaristic education. The second priority of the “Freedom and Peace” movement is to change this situation.

Past experience indicates that political changes, though crucial, are unable to guarantee that love and truth will govern human relations.

‘This Declaration was first published in English in the Spring 1986 issue of Across Frontiers.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement will disseminate knowledge which will enable man to understand human existence and man’s place in the world. We will look to the attainments of Christian ethics, psychology, Eastern philosophies, and other branches of learning which treat man as a subject. This is the third priority of the “Freedom and Peace” movement.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement takes non-violent resistance as its basic means of struggle against evil. Non-violence provides the most difficult, yet the most appropriate means for social struggle for human rights. It will be necessary to work out non-violent tactics which will be effective in a communist totalitarian context.

We recognize that violence is morally justified in exceptional circumstances, for instance when life is endangered, particularly by mass extermination (e. g., the extermination of the Jews during World War II, or of the Cambodians under Pol Pot’ s regime).


1. Human Rights

The attainment of basic human rights, such as the freedom to express one’s own ideas and opinions, the freedom to organize labor unions and other associations, and full religious freedom provides the basis for deeper social change. The political system under which we live is characterized by perpetual violation and denial of these rights. Particularly important in this respect is the issue of prisoners’ rights.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement wishes to concentrate on bringing about official recognition of the status of prisoners of conscience in Poland and throughout the world. The use of physical and psychological violence against prisoners is inadmissible. The “Freedom and Peace” movement will fight for the rights of prisoners, disseminate information about their situations, and organize relief action on their behalf.

We oppose capital punishment. Capital punishment is a disgrace of present-day legal systems.

In these matters, we wish to unite our efforts with those organizations and institutions that have similar goals, such as Amnesty International.

2. National Liberation

The “Freedom and peace” movement will support the struggle of nations which have been the victims of the violence of foreign powers, be those powers national or ideological. It is unthinkable in the modern world that a nation which wishes to attain independence is politically prevented from doing so.

We support the efforts of ethnic groups and national minorities to achieve autonomy and greater control over their destiny.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement will demonstrate solidarity nations and minorities which demand their own rights.

We will support national minorities in Poland in their efforts to find an authentic institutional expression of their culture.

We will also take every opportunity to act on behalf of the rights of Poles who constitute a minority in other countries.

3. The Threat of War and the International Peace Movement

In view of the fact that the major threat to the modern world is a nuclear annihilation, we will attempt to bring the enormity of this threat to the attention of Polish society. It is necessary to undo the currently militaristic character of education, both in the home and in the schools. It is time for the societies of East and West, which might find themselves adversaries in a future war, to undertake actions which lead to dialogue and mutual understanding–especially in view of the failed attempts to do so made by their governments. Of particular importance to us is establishing closer relations with Germany, a nation separated from us by the catastrophes of recent history, yet bound so closely to us by, common danger.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement considers the demilitarization of Central Europe and the creation of a nuclear free zone ere an absolute necessity. If accompanied by democratization of the East, this would decrease the danger of war.

At present, given the rift between the interests of the government and the aspirations of the Polish people, cornpulsory conscription violates people’s consciences.

The oath of the polish People’s Army requires every soldier to pledge loyalty to the government as well as to the so called “fraternal armies.” Many individual soldiers find this text in conflict with their principles.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement plans to take action to change the text of the military oath, so that those who refuse to take it–such as Marek Adamkiewicz–would not face imprisonment for their beliefs.

Often military service is against an individual’s moral, political, or religious beliefs. The “Freedom and Peace” movement seeks to win the right for draftees in Poland to perform alternative civilian service which is not threatening to life. Such an arrangement exists in many other countries.

We respect and appreciate the work of many organizations and institutions for world peace. The “Freedom and Peace” movement wants to become an integral part of these efforts. Therefore, the expressions of support and solidarity conveyed to us by Western Europe peace organizations such as Comite pour le Desarmement Nucleaire en Europe (CODENE), Interkerkelijk Vredesberaad (IKV), and European Nuclear Disarmament (END) are very valuable.

We wish to work together with the International peace movement. Of particular importance to us in this collaboration is recognition of the basic truth that we will not successfully oppose war if we do not overcome political systems based on state violence against their citizens. For us–living in such a system–this is the first and most important step toward universal peace. We wish to proceed along this path together with all the independent peace movements in Europe and in the world.

4. Environmental Protection

In the face of the growing threat of destruction of the biosphere, the air, the water, and the soil, freedom should also mean this: the chance to live in an uncontaminated natural environment. At present, natural resources are being wasted, and the short-sighted policies of the authorities cause irreversible damage to the environment. Industry seeking to save on [avoid use of, ed. note) pollution-preventing devices is often the major cause of such damage. Poor management of natural resources leads to erosion of the soil, and the disappearance of forests and water.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement will tight to make accessible information about the destruction of the natural environment.

Poland is not currently faced with the development of atomic energy plants. Nevertheless, industry’s attempts to import nuclear technology–after the experiences of other countries –are a source of concern.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement will support those actions throughout the world whose aim is to safeguard the environment and ban nuclear testing.

5. Word Hunger, Humanitarian Assistance

The “Freedom and Peace” movement considers hunger in the world today to be the greatest scandal of modern civilization. The demilitarization of Eastern Europe should serve not only to improve the fate of the Polish nation and her neighbors, but also to provide means of assistance to countries afflicted by poverty, famine, and death.

Although charity cannot substitute for structural social change, this does not absolve us from providing voluntarily assistance to those who are in need of it.

This applies also to those suffering from poverty, sickness and loneliness in Poland.

The “Freedom and Peace” movement declares its willingness to cooperate with all organizations whose goal is to help the needy.

6. Human development

Modern man faces several fundamental questions: What is the sense of human existence? How does one form and maintain relations with one’s family and friends, as well as with people in general? How does one deal with personal and psychological problems?

The “Freedom and Peace” movement plans to organize and encourage lectures, publications, and other means of helping people to find their own direction in life.

7. Tolerance

Within our movement, the basis for cooperation by people of differing world views is tolerance and understanding of the fact that there are many possible approaches to solving the world’s problems.

We will be united by our opposition to evil, to oppression, to intolerance, and to indifference to suffering.

The “Freedom and Peace” Movement Gdansk, Cracow, Warsaw, Wroclaw

November 17, 1985 Machowa near Tarnow



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