It’s the last show of the tour tonight, but the band are bowing out on a real high.
As many as 100,000 people could be in the famous Gdańsk shipyards to witness David’s first ever performance in Poland in celebration of Solidarity.
Let us know if you’ll be in this vast crowd. We’d love to hear from you.
Gdańsk is the sixth-largest city in Poland and the country’s maritime capital. The Gdańsk shipyard (Stocznia Gdańska) is one of Poland’s biggest and it is here that Solidarity was founded in September 1980, after strikes the previous month by shipyard workers – the first successful strike in the history of the USSR.
The strikes in August 1980 were triggered by the sacking of Anna Walentynowicz, a crane driver who had dared to demand better working conditions, including a warm meal for staff.
The protest gave rise to a wave of strikes over much of the country.
This led to the signing of the Gdańsk Agreement, which gave Polish workers the right to strike and to organise their own independent union and, therefore, the founding of the first free labour union in the eastern bloc: Solidarity.
This movement for fundamental freedoms led to the restoration of democracy in Poland and inspired many others to follow their lead in undermining communism.
In 1970, workers chose to strike at the Lenin shipyard, as it was then known. This time, peaceful demonstrators were shot down by tanks. This makes the events of 1980 all the more remarkable, as many of the same workers were involved a decade on.
Gdańsk’s motto – Fearlessly, but reasonably – is certainly very apt.
The above photo of the Gdańsk shipyards was taken by John Robertson, who we thank for his kind co-operation.