A government official following events in Poland yesterday said it "does seem the strikes are spreading all over the country," but Harvard, U.S. and other experts cautioned yesterday that sketchy in-formation precludes any firm assessment of the situation for the moment.
In the wake of a sweeping government clampdown on the 15-month-old Solidarity Union movement and the imposition of martial law, the analysts said scenarios ranging from all-out violent confrontation to grudging but peaceful acceptance of the new measures all remain possibilities.
"We simply have to wait for a few days to see what happens," Adam Ulam, director of the Russian Research Center, said. According to news reports and U.S. officials, after a day there were scattered strikes in Poland yesterday but a threatened nationwide walkout did not materialize.
The government official, a foreign policy specialist speaking on the condition that he not be identified, said reports reaching the United States described the situation in Poland as "very confused." He did suggest, however, that after initially being "stunned" by the suddenness of the government's move, the "wave of general people" were beginning to show their displeasure.
But another government official, this one in the State Department, said last night he had "seen nothing" to indicate that resistance was spreading, and outside analysts said it was too soon to tell whether Polish resistance was likely to escalate quickly or simmer slowly under a government threat of immediate punishment.
Marshall I. Goldman, association director of the Russian Research Center, said, "My expectation is that there are
A threatened general strike--called by some members of Poland's Solidarity labor union--reportedly failed to materialize yesterday, as the country's day-old martial law regime tightened its grip on the nation.
In Washington, the administration announced the suspension of food aid to Poland until government officials have a chance to reasses the crisis that began last weekend.
Although reports from many Polish plants and one northern port indicated that work was proceeding normally yesterday, Solidarity sources who escaped arrest reported some scattered strikes and sit-ins.