National Geographic : 1988 Jan
MAN IN THE SPOTLIGHT during the trade union movement's brief taste offreedom, Lech Walfsa remainsa popularpublic fig ure. In the village of Suleczyno, a crowd presses forth as Walfsa hands out photo graphs of his family and John PaulII taken at a private meeting during the Pope'svisit. Near the village, Walfsa returns (below) from an unsuccessfulfishing outing to his family's lakefront cottage.As heavy rains keep the family indoors,nine-year-old MagdalenaWalfsa entertainsher parents and younger sister Anna with a display of gymnastic ability (below right). Walesa became the focus of worldwide attention in 1980 when depressed wages and food-priceincreases sparkedprotests across the country. From a strike at the Lenin Shipyardin Gdarisk,where Walesa works as an electrician,the independent union Solidaritywas born. With Walgsa as its spokesman, Solidarity won freedom from Communist Party control.But that freedom ended in December 1981; the gov ernment declaredmartiallaw and interned Solidarity leaders, includingWalesa.