Lech Walesa, Revolutionary Free-Market Capitalist Who Defeated Communism In Europe, To Visit New York In Support Of Occupy Wall Street
This is more than a little bit ironic given that a good portion of the protesters are avowed Socialists. Protests and anti-bailout politics make for strange bedfellows, as we've been saying for almost three years.
Solidarity hero Lech Walesa is flying to New York to show his support for the Occupy Wall Street protesters.
"How could I not respond," Walesa told a Polish newspaper Wednesday. "The thousands of people gathered near Wall Street are worried about the fate of their future, the fate of their country. This is something I understand."
A former shipyard worker who led Poland's successful revolt against Soviet communism, Walesa said "capitalism is in crisis" and not just in America. "This is a worldwide problem," he told the Lublin-based Dziennik Wschodni newspaper. "The Wall Street protesters have focused a magnifying glass on the problem."
Protest organizers said they will welcome Walesa with open arms.
"He fought very, very hard for the rights of all working people," said Doug Forand of the 99 New York campaign, which is affiliated with OWS. Support from a world-class working-class hero like Walesa puts more pressure on Wall St. and on the government to get "the wealthiest 1% to do their share to create jobs and get us through this economic crisis," he said.
A staunch anti-communist and former Polish president who helped steer his country to a free market economy, Walesa was invited to join the three-week-old protest by organizer Matthew Blair.
Walesa has warned of a "worldwide revolt against capitalism" if the Wall St. protests are ignored. They are protesting the "unfairness" of an economy that enriches a few and "throws the people to the curb," he said in a recent interview. "That's why union leaders and capitalists need to figure out what to do, because otherwise they will have to contend with a worldwide revolt against capitalism," he said.
The 68-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner said through a spokesman that he will fly to New York soon but did not give a date.
More detail here: