This Monday, November 17th, marked 25 years since the Velvet Revolution in Prague, Czech Republic. To honor the occasion, groups took to Wenceslas Square dressed in masks and costumes before parading down Narodni. While the parade commemorated the end of communism in the Czech Republic, this year’s anniversary also bore tones of discontent with the current government, most notably its leader, president Milos Zeman.
The demonstrations varied from a pro-Ukraine group featuring a massive bear puppet with the face of Vladimir Putin to a group of solemn masked figures handing out post cards with anecdotes of political prisoners before the Revolution. The largest group was comprised of protesters passing out red cards and waving them in the air. These symbolized a “red card” for the President, a call for him to step down from power. This sentiment has grown recently in light of the President’s pro-Russian position on the Ukraine conflict and praise of Chinese policies.
The day concluded with a chain of candles lit along Narodni in memory of the Revolution’s first student protestors, some of whom were brutally beaten when the side streets of Narodni were blocked off, leaving no escape. Live music performances inside parked trams, a chalk board reminiscent of the Lennon wall and tents filled with anti-communist literature lined Narodni as the candles shone on through the misty Prague night.
Filmed, Edited and Contributed by Alexandra Korba