The 1980s brought about much change for the Soviet and Eastern Bloc countries. For Poland one of the big changes was Solidarity, a social movement that grew from underground resistance to the Soviet bureaucracy. Eventually this resistance grew into the form of a worker’s party when delegates from 36 trade unions across Poland met to discuss what they were going to do about the lack of support the workers they represented felt from the Polish Communist Party. Soon after the formation of Solidarity, the party gained massive support from the working class all across Poland. This angered the Soviet backed Polish government who, in 1981, began forcibly suppressing the movement which went underground. While underground, Solidarity continued to organize protests and strikes all across Poland. It was not until the free elections of 1989 that Solidarity reemerged publicly. They swept the ballots and won 99 of 100 seats in the senate and all 161 seats up for reelection in Congress. The true irony is that the Communist Party, who claimed to represent the workers of the world, lost all the support of the working class in Poland due to the rising costs of food and housing.
The Solidarity movement also received support for the CIA. After Ronald Regan announced economic sanctions against Poland for making Solidarity illegal, the CIA began funneling money and communications equipment into Poland to support the leaders of the movement. Congress authorized $10 million to be spend on programs to support Polish opposition to the Communist Party.