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‘Gnome’ may run for Senate

PR dla Zagranicy
Peter Gentle 10.06.2011 11:36
One of the most colourful figures from Poland's counter-culture rebellion of the 1980s has announced that he may stand for the Senate in the autumn’s general elections.


Waldemar ‘Major’ Fydrych was the founder of the so-called Orange Alternative, an unconventional protest movement that attempted to undermine the communist regime’s authority through 1960s-style situationist happenings.

During a period when there was an acute shortage of basics in the shops, such as toilet paper, for example, the Orange Alternative handed out sheets of lavatory tissue to communist militia and police.

His “Revolution of Gnomes” galvanised opposition activists across Poland and is credited with helping boost Solidarity’s membership

“It's possible that I'll run in the elections to the Senate,” Fydrych said in an interview with the Polska The Times newspaper.

“The Electoral Committee of Blockheads and Gnomes still exists,” the veteran declared, noting that he would run for Warsaw, and that he wanted to focus on culture.

In the landmark free elections to the Senate in 1989, Fydrych notched up 10,000 votes, but it wasn't quite enough to win a seat.

With the communist foe ousted he spent several years in France, but reprised his orange alternative role in 2004, joining the Ukrainian bid for change during the so-called Orange Revolution.

In 2006, he was a candidate in the mayoral elections in Warsaw, and came in fifth place, in spite of winning less than one percent of the vote.

Later this month, an exhibition in tribute to the Orange Alternative will be launched at the International Cultural Centre in Krakow. The show is one of several cultural projects under the umbrella of Poland's forthcoming presidency of the EU. (nh/pg)

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