Thursday, November 19, 2009

20 anniversary Velvet Revolution March

Twenty years ago on November 17, the Velvet Revolution began in Prague. Students marched from Dan's school (Charles University in Albertov) to commemorate the death of Jan Opletal (A student killed by the Nazi's 50 years before). Police were aware protests would occur, seeing as the Berlin Wall fell down a week previously, and massed to stop this from happening. The march began peaceful - students would jingle their keys as a way to make peaceful noise - and then it turned into an anti communism march that went downtown where the police trapped the students and beat them up - long story short. For the 20 year anniversary they had a big march that followed the same route as student march 20 years ago and ended with live music and some wimpy fireworks. We celebrated with everyone else only how one would do with kids - taking short cuts and seeing the most lively parts - aka the beginning of the procession - see video below. (Dan's "office" is in the building on the right of the picture).

3 comments:

Spencer and Kimberly said...

Sounds fun. I love that last picture!

Anonymous said...

This is Dan's dad the historian. Jan was not killed by the Nazis they were long gone by 1969, but the Russian army who marched in to put down the protest and the reforms that had been taking place in the Czechoslovakian government.

Czechers said...

Czech history is full of Jans. So, Dad you are right that the Russian army came in 1968 to supress some westward looking reforms - "Prague Spring" - and a number of protestors were killed. However, Jan Opletal died as a result of wounds he received protesting the Nazi closure of all Czech universities in 1939, fifty years before 1989 and seventy years before now.