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Poland: Police Remove Solidarity Activists

Warsaw, 19 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - Polish riot police have surrounded and entered two ministries that were occupied earlier today by Solidarity members in protest of the closure of the Gdansk shipyards.

Solidarity leader Marian Krzaklewski called the police action "a provocation." He said that the union leadership has called a crisis meeting for later today to agree on a response.

Solidarity launched a nation-wide protest today, demonstrating in Gdansk and occupying the Warsaw ministries of the Treasury, Finance and Economy. They are demanding government action to save the bankrupt shipyard, which was the birthplace of the Solidarity movement.

Police spokesman Witold Gieralt confirmed that police forces had entered the ministry buildings. The Associated Press reports that police used tear gas and truncheons to remove about 100 activists from the buildings.