Warsaw’s Blinking Lights – Learn Liberty

Warsaw’s Blinking Lights – Learn Liberty


I mean, I don’t know if people remember back then,
but it was a really bad time. You never knew whether or not you were in trouble
with the government. There was no transparency. You know, the police would show up,
they’d take you away. They’d ask to speak with you and then people would just disappear
in the middle of the night. You know, it was really oppressive. It was a really scary time in Poland. And so a lot of people had the idea,
they’re like you’ve got to spread information, you’ve got
to spread messages. That’s a really good way of
undermining authoritarian regimes. Just let people know
about what’s going on in other countries where it is freer
like in Canada and the United States. And one of those things was
they ran a radio station. It was actually a really
popular medium at the time. And they would broadcast
messages of freedom and liberty over the airwaves across Poland. But the trouble is that the government,
they cracked down on these radio stations. They were threatened by the free
spread of these kinds of ideas. And so in order to spread that message,
people had to hide the receivers and the transponders and whatever you
need to sort of broadcast the signal. My family was involved. They were a bit naive
about the whole thing. My mom used to hand out pamphlets
from under me when I was in a pram, she would walk around and
hand out these solidarity pamphlets. Which is crazy if you think about it,
it’s such a huge risk. But anyways, they were doing that,
college friends approached and said can we put a radio transponder
somewhere in your house? And my dad was like, of course,
I’ll show you where. And they were like, no, no, no. That’s not how it works. You give us a copy of a key to your home. And then maybe we’ll hide a transponder or
receiver or whatever it is in your home, but
we might not and you’ll never know. The two people who ran Radio Free Poland,
they were busy doing this for a number of months and even years, but you could never
tell whether or not anybody was listening.>>They didn’t know how many people
were listening to it, right? Because it was no such device at that
time to check it out and everything.>>So, one day they decided, they’re
feeling like this is a hopeless cause. You know, there’s no way that,
communism is here forever. That’s what they thought, and
there’s nothing they can do. So one day they sat down and
they came up with this idea. What they would do,
they would ask the people of Warsaw, those within earshot,
by earshot I mean of the radio, to blink their lights if they were
listening to Radio Free Poland. One day they said listen, people. If you are listening to our
radio station so certain day, you start blinking the lights in
the window, on and off, on and off. All night, in all all of Warsaw,
the lights just flickered all night long. The entire Warsaw was like blinking,
boom, boom, boom, boom. And that’s how we knew that almost
everybody was listening to it. That radio station and
that was basically it. People yearn and
they want a kind of freedom. And there’s also a sense of unfairness
when some people are allowed to do whatever they want,
but then, why can’t I? And so people were involved in trying
to expand that freedom further, and they did all kinds of things.


14 thoughts on “Warsaw’s Blinking Lights – Learn Liberty

  1. I imagine that blinking the lights would have been pretty dangerous if only a few did it since the government and government sympathizers would have been listening also.

  2. Ironically, the major principle of the free market economy (universal, equal right to conduct economic activity involving acts not prohibited by the law) was introduced by the Polish Workers' Party in 1988. The democratically elected officials who came to power after 1989, executed a more social democrat (or christian democrat, to be exact) approach, which generally reduced economic freedom from that point (remember that Solidarity was, after all, a trade union). And that's ignoring all the shady (or erroneous) things regarding privatization of state enterprises and such. 

    I think this is an example of how political freedom and economic freedom aren't inseparable. Sometimes even the dictators are right (pun intended). 

  3. Stories of Freedom always bring a tear to my eye.  To bad the example of Freedom that these people looked up to is about to succumb to what they fought so hard to rid themselves of.  Oppressive, Meddling, Atheists. 

  4. This is an excellent example of peaceful resistance to oppression. It shows that once people see that they all agree they can unite and overthrow those who profit from fear.

  5. Liberals be like…
    "Those people had a communist government? 
    They don't know how good they had it.
    All that safety and being taken care of by the government?
    Sign me up!"

  6. Respect for Poland from the USA. God bless us all. …. soon it will be the same here, but we have AR-15's …. smile and wait for the flash!

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