Czechs preparing for 20th anniversary of Velvet Revolution


The Czech Republic is gearing up for the anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution on Tuesday, when some 20 events in Prague alone will commemorate the student demonstrations of November 1989. Some 1,000 police officers are going to be deployed in the Czech capital. Events are mostly being organized by civic organizations such as Opona, which has put together a march that follows the original route of demonstrators, from Albertov to Národní Třída, 20 years ago. At 6 pm, Narodní Třída traffic will be shut down for speeches and a concert. Speakers at the event include Chinese journalist Kao Ju and Russian human rights activist Oleg Orlov. The organizers expect some 10,000 people to attend.

In related news, Prime Minister Jan Fischer has indirectly responded to criticism that the current government did not prepare sufficiently to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of the start of the Velvet Revolution. Mr. Fischer explained that to put on an event like the large-scale celebration commemorating the fall of the Wall in Berlin last week, the previous government would have had to start preparations a year ago.