Independent Self-governing Labor Union "Solidarity" was a Polish labor union that was founded on 17 September 1980 at the Lenin Shipyard of Gdansk, Poland by Lech Walesa. The labor union was the first in the Eastern Bloc to not be controlled by a communist party, and its membership reached 10,000,000 (a third of Poland's working-age population) by its September 1981 congress. The union served as an anti-bureaucratic social movement, using civil resistance to fight for workers' rights and social change. From December 1981 to July 1983, the Polish People's Republic declared a state of martial law and attempted to destroy the union, and the Pope and the United States provided economic assistance to the union, sending it $50,000,000. Solidarity held round-table talks with the government that led to semi-free elections in 1989, and a Solidarity-led coalition government was formed in August 1989. In December 1990, Walesa became President of Poland, ending communist rule over the country. It would evolve into a traditional liberal union in the following years, and its membership had dropped to 400,000 by 2011.