Leading Czech rock bands hold anti-Communist Party concert in Prague

19-11-2003

Many of the Czech Republic's most popular rock bands took part in a benefit concert held in Prague on Tuesday night called " S komunisty se nemluvi", or "You Shouldn't Talk to Communists". The timing of the concert was significant: it came the day after the anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution, and a week after polls suggested a quarter of Czechs now support the Communist Party.

Jaroslav Hutka, photo: CTKJaroslav Hutka, photo: CTK Historian and author Petr Placak said he and the other organisers were worried by the fact the Communists were now the country's second most popular party.

"It's not a post-communist party which has transformed itself, it's really the same old Stalinist Communist Party. Because it's legally allowed to exist on the Czech political scene it is still constantly pushing the same ideas it is associated with."

Tuesday's five-hour concert featured both artists who were dissidents during the Communist era and young groups, many of whom would have been in their early teens in 1989. Among the latter was Richard Krajco of the successful Ostrava based-band Krystof. Why was he opposed to the Communists?

"Because of what the country went through under the Communists, but also for personal reasons - they persecuted my grandfather. But it's also for reasons which are a bit selfish because I like acting and making music, I like travelling and I'd be afraid of losing all those things. I wouldn't be able to write lyrics the way I wanted, they'd have to be approved by a commission. I wouldn't be able to go anywhere and the country would become a kind of cage."

19-11-2003