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November 17, 2014 - Day of Struggle for Freedom and Democracy

The 17th day of November marks the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy Day in the history of the Czech Republic. On that day in 1989, on Narodni Street in Prague the communist police brutally suppressed a peaceful anti-government demonstration of thousands of high school and university students who demonstrated the desire of Czech people for freedom and democracy. Many people realized that the communist regime went too far - became a massive outpour of defiance against the illegitimate red dictatorship while events took a dramatic turn as the protests gathered momentum. Students were joined by the dissidents of the Charter 77, Democratic initiative, many actors and gradually all sectors of society, including laborers and farmers. Quickly were established Civic Forums in Bohemia and in Moravia. These mass movements assumed control at all levels in the state. Shortly after those events, the leader of Civic Forum, Vaclav Havel, was elected president an in June 1990, the first free elections to the federal and national parliaments were held. There was a change of social system, change that took us to the implementation of freedom and democracy. Since then 25 long years have passed, but there is still a long way ahead of us…

Vladimír Ruml, Consul General of the Czech Republic in Canada