MASSGOERS from Warsaw cathedral started a counterdemonstration against a Communist May Day march last Tuesday. The Solidarity leader Lech Walesa smuggled himself into a Communist rally in Gdansk with hundreds of Solidarity supporters and flashed v-for-victory signs.
The Warsaw demonstration began after the nine o'clock Mass at St John's cathedral in the centre of the old town district, only a few hundred yards away from the official march.
At 9.45 police sealed off most streets to stop the congregation spilling into Castle Square. But within five minutes a teenager had a Solidarity flag flying from a lamp post and leaflets were released from rooftops. Police reacted with a water spray, but the protesters found their way into the market square to face armoured riot police. Tear gas could not be used because many onlooker's were eating and drinking outside the cafes.
The demonstrators later made their way to the church of St Stanislaw Kostka, two miles away, to hear the radical priest, 'Fr Jerzy Popleluszko. Police again assaulted the congregation after the service.
Some 2,000 Solidarity supporters tried to march to Jasna Gora monastery in Zcestochowa, the home of Poland's Black Madonna icon, but police repulsed them with water cannon.