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December 14, 1987

Polish riot police used clubs to break up a protest march by hundreds of Solidarity supporters at a rally in the Baltic port of Gdansk on the sixth anniversary of the imposition of martial law. The protest began after Solidarity founder Lech Walesa pledged that the outlawed independent trade union would keep struggling for its rights. Union leaders warned in speeches that government-imposed price boosts next year could spark food riots like those that toppled the government in 1970. Walesa, contacted by telephone at his Gdansk apartment, said he told the crowd that Dec. 13, 1981, was "a day of shame" for Polish authorities because "problems were solved by means of force."

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