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OffbeatPoland's Lech Walesa wears protest T-shirt to Bush funeral

20:05  06 december  2018
20:05  06 december  2018 Source:   msn.com

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Lech Wałęsa ( Polish : [ˈlɛx faˈwɛ̃sa] (listen); born 29 September 1943) is a retired Polish politician and labour activist. He co-founded and headed Solidarity (Solidarność)

NNU T - Shirt . Dignitaries in the cathedral included Britain’ s Prince Charles, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, King Abdullah II and Queen Rania of Jordan, former Polish president Lech Walesa , former vice presidents Dick Cheney, Al Gore and Joe Biden and former secretaries of state James

Poland's Lech Walesa wears protest T-shirt to Bush funeral© The Associated Press In this picture taken on Nov.22, 2018, Poland's two most famous foes, the country's de facto leader, head of the ruling party Jaroslaw Kaczynski, right, and former President Lech Walesa, second left, stand near each other after exchanging wry comments before a courtroom in Gdansk, Poland. Kaczynski is suing Walesa for blaming him for a 2010 plane crash that killed his twin, then-President Lech Kaczynski. (AP Photo/Wojciech Strozyk)

WARSAW, Poland — Lech Walesa is still fighting.

The founder of Poland's anti-communist Solidarity movement attended President George H.W. Bush's state funeral in Washington wearing a T-shirt bearing the word "Konstytucja" (Constitution), a symbol of a political struggle in his homeland against the populist government.

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The Polish president Andrzej Duda and Lech Wałęsa, one of Poland ’ s former presidents, will attend the funeral of George HW Bush , scheduled for Polish officials including the President, Prime Minister and former President Lech Wałęsa have sent their condolence following the death of George

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He and other critics accuse the national-conservative ruling party, in power since 2015, of eroding the very democracy Walesa helped achieve, mainly by eroding the independence of the judiciary.

Some of Walesa's compatriots criticized him, saying he should have worn more formal attire as he paid his respects to the 41st president at the Washington National Cathedral on Wednesday. They said it was not the time or place to make a political statement about a domestic issue.

But defenders say the eccentric and outspoken 75-year-old, once a political prisoner of the Soviet-backed communist regime and the winner of the Nobel Peace prize in 1983, has earned the right to do whatever he pleases.

Walesa said that the T-shirt, which he wore under a dark suit, was his personal gesture of farewell to a U.S. leader who "fought for freedom, fought for truth and honesty."

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Polish democracy icon Lech Walesa speaks to workers at Gdansk shipyard during a strike in 1980. After a decade of persistent mass protests and industrial strikes; a dramatic visit to his homeland by the first Polish pope, John Paul II; and because of the effect of Western sanctions on the communist

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"Therefore, when I say goodbye, I want to say that the fight goes on, that we disregarded democracy in Poland, we let the populists and demagogues win. And today we have trouble," Walesa told Polish reporters ahead of the funeral.

Bush served as president from 1989 to 1993, a time when communism fell across Eastern Europe and Walesa became the first president elected to serve a democratic Poland, a post he held from 1990 to 1995.

Bush gave his backing to Solidarity in the final days of the communist regime and to Poland as it struggled to return to the Western democratic world.

In 1989, months after Poland's first free elections in decades, he bestowed the presidential Medal of Freedom on the former shipyard electrician at the White House, saying: "Lech Walesa showed how one individual could inspire in others a faith so powerful that it vindicated itself, and changed the course of a nation."

George H.W. Bush's full funeral program

George H.W. Bush's full funeral program Former President George H.W. Bush will be honored Wednesday at Washington National Cathedral with a state funeral that will be attended by current and former presidents and world leaders. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); The funeral, which is set to begin around 11:00 a.m. ET, will run for an hour and a half and will include, among other things, several eulogies and musical tributes to the 41st president.

Poland ' s freedom icon Lech Walesa on Wednesday vowed to join street protests against his country's right-wing government, currently being probed Walesa has previously raised questions as to whether Kaczynski was seeking to turn Poland into "a dictatorship" through a series of reforms that critics

Lech Walesa has called for Poland to unite with Germany to form one European state, despite the bloody history between the two countries.

Poland's current leaders say that their overhaul of the judiciary is needed to fix a broken judicial system that they claim is still influenced by ex-communists. While many agree the system needs reforms, the changes have been condemned by the European Union and human rights groups, which see a power grab by a party that also has shown inclinations to erode media freedom.

Walesa's current struggle is also rooted in a personal feud with Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the powerful ruling party leader, a former ally turned foe.

On Thursday, Walesa lost a slander case against Kaczynski in a court in Gdansk, where Walesa founded Solidarity at a shipyard decades ago.

Walesa had blamed Kaczynski for the 2010 plane crash in Smolensk, Russia, that killed Kaczynski's twin brother, President Lech Kaczynski, along with 95 others, including top Polish political and military leaders.

In one social media post, Walesa alleged that Kaczynski, "guided by bravado," was on the phone pushing for the plane to land in heavy fog.

The judge ruled there is no evidence to back up such a "heavy accusation" and ordered Walesa to apologize.

Walesa, who also wore his Konstytucja T-shirt on the opening day of the trial last month, vowed earlier this week to keep on wearing it. He said he will even ask to be buried in it "if we do not achieve freedom."

President George H.W. Bush's state funeral was watched by more than 17 million TV viewers.
The state funeral of former President George H.W. Bush was watched by a television audience of about 17.5 million viewers on Wednesday. The total is based on Nielsen data for the event across the four major broadcast networks and the three cable news channels Fox News, CNN and MSNBC. The figure does not include viewers who streamed coverage of the event online or smaller networks that may have carried the event. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

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