WARSAW, Poland – WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Solidarity founder Lech Walesa shunned a couple of the movement's 30th anniversary sessions Monday, saying he is tired and disillusioned with the Polish trade union's current state.
The event is one in a series marking 30 years since the massive movement led by Walesa forced then-ruling communists to sign concessions to striking shipyard workers in Gdansk, that eventually led to democratic changes in 1989 and spurred a sweeping changes across nations in Eastern Europe, which until then were under Moscow's thumb.
The 66-year-old Walesa, who was Poland's president from 1990-95, said he is unhappy with Poland's politics and economy today and with Solidarity itself, because the trade union is getting too involved in daily politics.
On Monday morning he shunned an anniversary session in Gdynia and a major anniversary observances in another Baltic port, Szczecin.
Walesa is, however, expected to attend a concert in Gdansk on Tuesday, which will be the central point of the celebrations.
"After 30 years of great personal effort I am terribly tired today," Walesa wrote in his blog Monday. "This is why I am not capable of actively participating in many meetings and ceremonies."
Walesa, who travels extensively around the world lecturing on Poland's bloodless political transformation, was fitted with a pacemaker in 2007.
He told the TVN24 television station that Solidarity should revert to its role as a social movement.
"It is needed in Europe, even globally. But Solidarity as a trade union is an obstacle in many fields," Walesa said without specifying.