Lech Wałęsa became less and less tolerant of the two brothers' growing independence, as they started to pursue their own political agenda. Jarosław and his brother were dismissed from the presidency, and switched to the opposition.
Jarosław and Lech's involvement in politics began in the 1970s and 1980s, when they took part in the pro-Western liberal opposition to the communist regime, and later, in the 1980s, within the Solidarność organization. In their struggle, the two brothers also displayed close ties with the Workers' Defense Committee (KOR, created in 1976), of which they never became members strictly speaking. They led their activist lives whilst pursuing advanced studies in law and both earned PhDs. Jarosław was passionate about history and Lech became Professor of Labor Law at the University of Gdańsk.