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Excerpts from Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski's speech declaring martial...

WARSAW, Poland -- Excerpts from Prime Minister Wojciech Jaruzelski's speech declaring martial law:

'Citizens of the Polish People's Republic, I address you today as a soldier, as the chief of government. I address you on the most important matters. 'Our country is on the verge of an abyss. The achievements of many generations raised from the ashes is collapsing into ruin. The state structures no longer function.

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'Our extinguished economy is given more shocks every day ... The atmosphere of never ending conflicts, misunderstanding, hatred, sows mental devastation, hurts tradition of tolerance. Strikes, strike alerts and protest actions have become standard ... 'Last night, many public institutions were occupied. There are calls for physical debate with the reds, with people of different opinions.

'There are more and more examples of terror threats, moral lynching and direct assaults, crimes are spreading like a wave through the country ...

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'Chaos and demoralization have reached the level of defeat. The nation has reached the border of mental endurance ... Now, not days but hours are nearing a nationwide catastrophe ...

'It cannot be said that we didn't show good will, moderation, patience, sometimes there probably was too much of it ... the initiative of the great national understanding was backed by millions of Poles.

'It created a chance, an oppportunity to deepen the system of democracy, of people ruling the country, widening reforms.

'These hopes failed.

'Around the table there was no leadership of Solidarity. Words said in Radom and debates in Gdansk showed the real aims of its leadership. These aims are confirmed by everyday practice, the growing aggressiveness of extremists, clearly aiming to take apart the Polish state system.

'How long can one wait for a sobering up? How long will a hand extended for accord meet a fist?

'I say this with a broken heart, with bitterness.

'It could have been different in our country. It should have been different. If it had lasted any longer it would have led to catastrophe, to absolute chaos, to poverty and starvation, and a severe winter could multiply the losses.

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'In this situation, doing nothing would be a crime committed against the nation. We have to say, 'Stop, its enough'.'

'We have to prevent, we have to block confrontation, which was openly declared by the leaders of Solidarity.

'We have to declare today, when we know the forthcoming day of mass political demonstration including the ones in the center of Warsaw, called in connection with the anniversary of the December (1970) events. ...

'That tragedy cannot be repeated. It is not allowed. We cannot let these demonstrations be the spark causing a fire in the country.

'The self-preservation instinct of the nation must be taken into account. We must bind the hands of adventurers before they push the country into civil war.

'Citizens of Poland, very heavy is the burden of responsibility which lies upon me at the very dramatic moment in Polish history. But it is my duty to take it, accept it, because it concerns the future of Poland, for which we of my generation fought on all the fronts of World War II and gave the best years of our lives.

'I declare that today, the army council of national salvation, has been constituted. The council of state, obeying the constitution, declared a state of war (at midnight) on the territory of Poland.

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'I want everybody to understand my motives and aims of our action.

'We dont aim at a military takeover, at a military dictatorship.

'The nation is strong enough and wise enough to develop a democratic system of socialist government.

'And in such a system, military forces could stay where their place is -- the barracks.

'None of Poland's problems can be solved by force.

'The army council of national salvation is not substituting the constitutional government, its only task is to protect law in the country, to creat guarantees of re-establishing order and discipline.

'That is the final way to start coming out of the crisis, to save the country from collapsing.

'The committee for national defense nominated army military commissars in every level of state administration and in certain economic units. They are granted a law for supervising the activiy of the state administrative organs from the ministry level down to the local council level.

'The declaration of the military council of national salvation and other decrees published today define the terms and standards of public order for the duration of the state of war.

'The army military council will be disbanded when law will govern the country and when the condition for the functioning of a civilian administration and representative bodies are created.

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'As the situation stabilizes itself gradually, the limits of freedom in public life will be diminished or overruled. Nobody can count on weakness or indecision.

'In the name of national interests, a group of people threatening the safety of the country has been preventively interned.

'The extremisits in Solidarity are included in the group as well as other members of illegal organizations.

'On the demand of the military council, several people responsible personally for pushing the country into crisis in the 1970s and abusing their posts for personal profit have been interned.

'Among them are Edward Gierek, Piotr Jaroszewicz, Zdzislaw Grudzien, Jerzy Lukaszewicz, Jan Szydlak, Tadeusz Wroszczk and others. ...

'The military council will secure the necessary means for the fight against criminal offenses.

'Sharks of speculation gaining illegal profit and infringing the standards of public life will be prosecuted and severely charged.

'Their illegally gained property will be confiscated.

'Leaders responsible for dereliction of their duties and waste as well as abusing their posts and soulless attitude toward Polish citizens will be punished by being fired from their posts on demand of the military commissaries.

'Respect of human labor must be restored, respect for law guaranteed.

'We must guarantee the personal safety to all who want to live and work in peace.

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'The decree allows amnesty for some crimes and offenses against the interest of the state committed before Dec. 13, 1981.

'We do not seek revenge. Anybody who was vulnerable to false inspiration or carried away by emotions may take this chance.

'Citizens, the Polish soldier is and was faithfully serving his country, always on the front line of every social need. Today he will fulfil his duty with honor too.

'Our soldier's hands are clean, he knows his hard service ... and has no other aim but the good of the nation.

'But appealing for the army's help can only be temporary and extraordinary. The army will not substitute routine mechanisms of socialistic democracy, but democracy can only be expressed and developed in a strong and law-abiding country.

'Anarchy is a contradictions and enemy of it.

'We are just a drop in the stream of Polish history.

'It consists not only of glorious chapters, but there are also dark chapters. ... The vicious circle must be broken. We can't afford one more repetition of history.

'We wish a great Poland, great with its achievements, culture, forms of social life, its position in Europe. The only way to gain this is by socialism accepted by society, constantly enriched by the everyday life experience.

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'This is the Poland we will build. ... 'Despite all the failures and mistakes we made, the party is still the leading and creative force in the process of changes to fulfill its mission sufficiently and cooperate with our allies. ...

'We will clean up the everlasting sources of our ideal from deformations and vitiation. We will protect the universal values of socialism, enriching it with our national elements and tradition.

'In this way the socialistic ideals will draw near the majority of the population -- non-members and the younger generation as well as the healthy workers trend in Solidarity which will draw away the prophets of confrontation with its own strength and its own interest. ... 'We appreciate the patriotic standpoint of the church.

'There is a superior aim uniting all thinking and responsible Poles -- love of their country, the necessity to secure independence gained with such difficulty, respect of one's own country.

'This is the strongest foundation of accord.

'Citizens of Poland, as there is no coming away from socialism, there is not returning to the false methods and practices from before August 1980.

'The steps taken today serve to preserve the basic features of socialist renewal. All the reforms will be continued in an atmosphere of order, businesslike discussion and discipline, also economic reform.

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'I dont want to make promises. A difficult period is ahead of us.

'To make tomorrow better we must realize tough realities today, to understand the necessity for renunciation.

'There is one thing I would like to achieve: peace.

'This is the fundamental condition from which a better future should start.

'We are a sovereign country so we must get out from this crisis by ourselves. We must draw away danger with our own hands.

'History would never forgive the present generation for wasting this chance.'

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