Thank you for your kind words, Mr.Sporek. Good afternoon fellow activists. Mr. Frank J. Spula, President of the POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS, can NOT be with us today due to an emergency. President Spula asked me to make the following points. My name is John Czop, Director of Policy Planning at the Polish American Congress’s National Office in Washington, DC.
First, contrary to rumors, President Spula has not changed his position: THE POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS wants Andrzej Pityński’s Katyń Monument to stay where it now stands: right here in Exchange Place, where Jersey City celebrates Independence Day with a spirited commemoration that includes fireworks to remind us that the price of political freedom often involves armed struggle, as it did in America’s War of Independence against the imperial might of the United Kingdom. Because we Americans have benefited from our Democratic Revolution at the end of the eighteenth century, we encourage people the world over to establish democratic republics for the sake of assuring world peace. Democratic polities are less likely to go to war.
Moreover, President Spula wholeheartedly endorses the vision put forward by the Reverend Willie Keaton at the Marathon Jersey City Council Meeting of 13-14 June 2018. The Reverend Keaton called for re-purposing Exchange Place as FREEDOM PLAZA with artworks to commemorate the heroes and martyrs of many ethnic groups in our common struggle against all forms of totalitarianism, racism, colonialism, and imperialism.
This is why the Polish American Congress is proud to be one of several organizations in the PEOPLE’S COALITION TO RE-PURPOSE EXCHANGE PLACE. The Polish American Congress will work to ensure the success of the coming referendum on how EXCHANGE PLACE SHOULD BE RE-PURPOSED. The Polish American Congress wants people power, not the selfish moneyed interests, to win the coming referendum. I believe that: the voters of Jersey City, America’s most multi-cultural and pluri-ethnic city, will do the right thing and vote to re-purpose Exchange Place as FREEDOM PLAZA.
Second, President Spula asked me to state the mission of the POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS, which is: to persuade both American official governmental and public opinion that a strong and truly sovereign Poland protects United States national security interests, and promotes the American values of political freedom and free enterprise in East Central Europe. To accomplish that general mission, the POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS is now supporting two specific policy goals.
First, repeal of the NATO -Russia Founding Act of 1994 to permit the permanent stationing on Polish territory of NATO assets from member countries in North America and Western Europe.
Second, move the THREE SEAS INITIATIVE from rhetoric to reality to create an economic prosperity zone, integrated from north-to-south, among the countries between the Adriatic, Baltic, and Black Seas. The purpose is to avoid yet another war in this area by making these lands free of German economic domination, and free of dependence on Russian oil and natural gas. This will prevent Germany and Russia again fighting for control of this area as they did twice in the twentieth century.
During the last phase of World War II, in Buffalo, New York, in August 1944, Polish Americans established the POLISH AMERICAN CONGRESS as a political advocacy organization to persuade President Franklin D. Roosevelt that: after the defeat of Nazi Germany, which then was imminent, the United States should support the re-emergence of Poland within the borders of September 1, 1939, before Germany invaded Poland, followed by the Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland on September 17, 1939. Poland was crushed by the combined armed force of both the totalitarian Nazis and communists.
Nazi Germany then turned against its erstwhile totalitarian ally and invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. Rather than permitting both totalitarian powers to exhaust themselves fighting in Russia, the United Nations Allies, led by the United States and the British Empire, and including the Polish State, then in exile and based in London, and General Charles De Gaulle’s Free France, decided to support Stalin’s totalitarian Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. With profound misgivings, Poland joined her Allies in making an alliance with the Soviet Union. This decision ended the moral clarity of the war. It also reminds us that: the alliance with the Soviet Union was necessary , because, unlike Poland, France, the British Empire and the United States SPENT TOO LITTLE MONEY on national defense, during the inter-war period. This alliance with the Soviet Union prejudiced the outcome of World War II on the Eastern Front and led to Poland’s defeat in victory.
This is why we must be willing to spend money today to ensure peace tomorrow and to prevent us from making alliances with countries that do NOT share our values.
Thank you. LET US WIN THE COMING REFERENDUM.
By John Czop at President Spula’s request.
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