Sunday, May 01, 2011

There Is No Bread Without Freedom

June 1979 Pope John Paul II arrived in Warsaw, Poland in the first year of his papacy.  He celebrated Mass in Victory Square before 300,000 people, ending with a Pentecostal plea:

''I cry from all the depths of this millennium: Let your Spirit descend. Let your Spirit descend, and renew the face of the earth, the face of this land.''

In August 1980 a strike in the Lenin Shipyard in Gdansk gave birth to the Solidarity trade union. It was a movement for workers' rights, but it had taken on a Catholic iconography. The barricades were decorated with pictures of John Paul II, wooden crosses, and images of the Black Madonna. The Pope and his message of human dignity had emboldened millions of Poles to express a yearning for freedom

"The 10th of September 1989, when the Hungarian borders opened for Germans arriving from the GDR as well, was a historic milestone for both our states and peoples. On that day, it was Hungary who took the first brick out of the Berlin Wall."
Helmut Kohl

And on 4 January 2011 the Arab Spring began...