The new union that was created as a result of the strike took the name of the Independent Self-Governing Trade Union “Solidarity”. Its president was Lech Walesa. Within a year, it had signed up nearly 10 million workers, farmers and intellectuals, including scientists, teachers and artists. After 35 years of communist rule, it was the first social organization established in the Soviet bloc that was not controlled by the authorities. In September 1981, Solidarity organized its First National Congress. The election of delegates to the congress was the only free election of its size in Central and Eastern Europe between 1948-1989.