A protest of many thousand people took place on Wednesday in Prague. The demonstrators demanded the resignation of the government, the holding of early parliamentary elections, and the organization of a referendum on the purchase of Russian gas. Demonstrations were also held in other Czech cities.
Tens of thousands of people gathered on Wednesday in the Czech capital, on the day of the patron saint of the country, St. Wenceslas. The protest was called by the same organizers who gathered at least 70,000 in Prague at the beginning of September. people. This time there are more of them – the organizers say.
The assemblies demanded the resignation of the government, the appointment of a cabinet of experts and the holding of early parliamentary elections.
The organizers wrote a petition to Milosz Zeman, in which they called on the president – referring to the provisions of the constitution – to dismiss the government of Petr Fiala. The document is to be handed over to the head of state October 10, 2022.
During the protests, the high price tag was repeatedly criticized and there was talk of concerns about the coming winter and inflation. It has been indicated on several occasions that the government is dragging the country into war on behalf of the European Union and NATO. There were calls for neutrality and opposition to the possible adoption of the euro. A call was read to organize a referendum to enable direct gas purchases in the Russian Federation.
During the demonstration, the organizers released a dove of peace, calling on all MPs to leave their home parties and to become independent politicians and to “work directly for the good of the Czech nation”. There were complaints from the podium about the lack of freedom, censorship and other totalitarian practices.
Statements from the stand were accompanied by shouts of support from the crowd or whistles of opposition when, for example, there was talk of gas supplies or the EU. The banners and slogans brought by the demonstrators alongside the Czech national flags corresponded with them. Calls for the resignation of the government dominated. Some of them directly concerned the prime minister. “Fialo, that’s enough. You are the warmongers of the war”. There were also banners saying, “Don’t be silly. There are people here.”
Speakers included representatives of community initiatives and politicians representing small and larger political organizations on both the left and right sides of the spectrum. There were communists, representatives of the extreme, anti-systemic party Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD), which had its representation in parliament, as well as groups remaining outside the mainstream of Czech politics.
Foreign guests also performed during the demonstration in Prague. German MEP from the party Alternative for Germany (Afd) Christine Anderson supported the Czechs, referring to their fight against communist totalitarianism. Petr Bystron, her fellow Member of the Bundestag from the Czech Republic, took the floor. The Danish politician and former banker Mads Palsving also appeared.
The three-and-a-half-hour events on Wenceslas Square in Prague were videoed to cities in the Czech Republic, where from several hundred to several thousand people demonstrated. No incidents were reported during the protests in Prague and other cities.