Supporters have gathered at the shipyard in Gdansk — the cradle of Poland's 1980s Solidarity movement — to back Lech Walesa, the former democracy leader and ex-president who is facing renewed allegations of having collaborated with Poland's communist-era secret police.

Secret police files recently surfaced suggesting that Walesa collaborated with the hated secret police from 1970-76 for money, before he founded the Solidarity movement in 1980 that eventually helped topple communism. Walesa says the papers are forged.

Walesa's supporters are furious at the current conservative leadership in Poland, whom they accuse of trying to tarnish the legacy of Poland's democracy icon. The rally Sunday came a day after a large protest in Warsaw in support of Walesa.