The Solidarnost movement is a key player in bringing about democracy in Poland, Source: City of Gdansk

Gdansk: Festival of Freedom and Civil Rights this weekend

Gdansk: Festival of Freedom and Civil Rights this weekend

Discussions, meetings, a concert and a documentary film screening are included in the event which will be held in Gdańsk on 4-5 June. One of the topics of the debate will be the situation in Ukraine

The fourth edition of what has become a traditional Festival of Freedom and Civil Rights will take place this weekend in Gdansk. On 4-5 June, the Polish city will be once again celebrating the first, partially free Polish parliamentary elections in June 1989. This time, however, the focus will also be put on the war in Ukraine.

Celebrating the voice of citizens

The core programme of the festival constitutes discussions, meetings, a concert and a documentary film screening, as reported by the city website of Gdansk, the main organiser of the event. It will take place at the European Solidarity Center.

This time, a special Social Zone will be set up, a space for discussion, but also for individual conversations with experts. Its goal is to build a civic community.

The social zone is reportedly a concept brought from Scandinavia. Once a year, it brings government and civic representatives, who debate together their vision of the country in a relaxed atmosphere.

The ECS will host a debate with the participation of local government officials from Poland and Ukraine.

Mayor of Gdansk speaking at the ESC center

Mayor of Gdansk Aleksandra Dulkiewicz speaking at the ESC center.
Image credits: City of Gdansk

“I think that each of us can see what has been happening over the past three months, not only beyond our eastern border. This affects Poland, Gdańsk and our homes.

On the one hand, there will be a conversation with local government officials, both Polish and Ukrainian, about the times of breakthrough, what happened in 1989 and their consequences for local communities.

It will also be a conversation about how today we can cooperate even more closely with Ukrainian local authorities, but also a look into the future. Because in addition to the current humanitarian aid and that which we bring to refugees, we want to talk about the future and the rebuilding of Ukraine,” commented Aleksandra Dulkiewicz, the Mayor of Gdańsk, as quoted on the city website.

We recall that the June 1989 elections were groundbreaking in Polish history, as they brought about the formation of the first government after WWII headed by non-Communist Prime Minister. They were preceded by Round Table with the participation of the Communist authorities and representatives of Solidarity social movement.



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