Czech Republic: Thousands hold anti-government rally on 50th anniversary of 1969 clashes

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Thousands marched in the streets of Prague on Wednesday, as part of an ongoing movement against Prime Minister Andrej Babis and President Milos Zeman.

Wednesday’s protest took place on the 50th anniversary of a 1969 protest, during which Czechoslovak forces fired on demonstrators that reportedly resulted in the deaths of five and hundreds of injuries. That demonstration voiced opposition to the August 21 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Soviet Union and other Warsaw pact countries, and the resulting changes in Czech government.

“We’re not happy with the way our country is heading at the moment,” said Alena Svenova, one of the protesters. “The Czech president instead of remembering this 51 years ago history with us, he is hosting Czech communists today at his place.”

The protests, organized by A Million Movements for Democracy, started in 2018 and have become the largest protest movement in the Czech Republic since the fall of communism in 1989. The movement has been calling for Babis to resign over corruption allegations and his alleged cooperation with the communist State Security Police in the 80s — allegations he denies.

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