Gdansk, 30 August 2000 (RFE/RL) - Solidarity union members gave founder Lech Walesa a standing ovation at a congress in Gdansk today marking the birth of the movement 20 years ago. The independent Polish trade union became the vanguard in the struggle to topple communism. The congress brought together more than 2,000 former and present union members.
In a brief speech, Walesa -- the first Polish president after the end of communism -- spoke of how much Solidarity activists had accomplished. He said: "We live in a different world" thanks to Solidarity. The three days of celebrations began yesterday.