Speaker: Czeslaw Bielecki / Polish Solidarity Dissident and Author, “Freedom. Do It Yourself”
Date: Tuesday, June 26th, 2012
Time: 12:30pm – 2:00pm
Description: Czeslaw Bielecki’s talk is informed by his personal journey as a nonviolent anti-communist activist who, at the age of twenty, joined the 1968 pro-democracy demonstrations suppressed by the Polish regime. Despite harassment and imprisonment, Bielecki remained committed to nonviolent struggle throughout the 1970s, joining the Solidarity movement with millions of his countrymen in 1980. Bielecki applied his experience and professional artistic background to the development and running of an underground publishing house in Poland with the purpose of challenging official censorship and offering Poles access to the free word.
As part of his presentation, Bielecki discusses his “Freedom: A Do-It-Yourself Manual,” whose content is informed by his visits to Cuba in 2005 and 2006 and his unflagging defiance against the suppression of freedom. The Manual also reflects Bielecki’s desire to offer advice on how to organize more effectively and maintain resilience in the face of repression. This talk provides an opportunity to learn from the experience of one of the veterans of nonviolent organizing and in doing so avoid replicating the same mistakes and engage more effectively in challenging undemocratic regimes.
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