Importance of freedom and democracy highlighted at November 17 commemorations

Photo: Barbora Navrátilová, Radio Prague International

This Thursday saw the 33rd anniversary of the onset of the Velvet Revolution. Commemorative events as well as demonstrations were held across the country.

Czechs marked the 33rd anniversary of the beginning of the Velvet Revolution as well as International Students day on Thursday through a wide variety of events held across the country.

The prime minister and members of the government, as well as the speakers of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies or the leader of the strongest opposition party, paid their respects on the site of the memorial on Národní třída. Some of them were heckled as they laid wreaths by the memorial.

Politicians, including Prime Minister Petr Fiala, tended to stress the importance of freedom and democracy, with the Czech head of government saying that they were fragile and needed to be cared for to ensure their continued survival. Senate Speaker Miloš Vystrčil said that Czechia is facing attempts to distort its memory of totalitarianism. Meanwhile, the speaker of the lower-house, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, called for continued support for Ukraine until the last Russian soldier leaves that country’s territory. Several of the candidates running for the office of president could also be seen paying their respects at the memorial.

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Author: Thomas McEnchroe