Czechia celebrates 33rd anniversary of Velvet Revolution

Czechia celebrates 33rd anniversary of Velvet Revolution
Photo: Martin Krchnacek

Czech newspaper iDNES has today reported on the commemoration of the country’s celebration of the 33rd anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution. 

The Velvet Revolution is the name given to the non-violent transition of power that took place in November 1989 and facilitated Czechoslovakia’s change from a communist authoritarian state to a liberal democracy. 

The main celebrations of this anniversary have been taking place on Prague’s Národní třída, where in 1989 the armed elements of the communist regime violently attacked the student procession and thus started large-scale anti-regime protests.  

The scene has already this morning been visited by senior politicians, including Prime Minister Petr Fiala, his predecessor Andrej Babiš and Minister of the Interior Vít Rakušan. 

However, former Prime Minister Babiš was met by people shouting at him and criticising his past as a member of the Communist party. The former PM defended this, saying that for him the 17th November was an important reminder of the value of “freedom of speech, free elections and the opportunity to do business”. 

Meanwhile, shortly after 11am, the current Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, was greeted by applause. He spoke with journalists, saying that “we must take care of democracy, that is the main message of November 17.” He added his belief that young people are aware of the need to do this, and he is hopeful that society will protect democratic values and systems. 

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