Then, They Were Communists

I don’t pay  enough attention to Czech politics, for somebody who’s lived here for 20 years.  Last night I was at a poetry reading, totally unaware of events  unfolding on Wenceslas Square.

There was rather a large demonstration, apparently.  That is surprising because, in my experience, Czechs tend to be about  the most politically apathetic people  in  the world.  Trying to get any of my  students to express a political opinion is generally a quick way to kill the conversation altogether.   Demonstrations of any kind are rare, and usually sparsely attended.
If you see a large crowd gathered in one place and chanting slogans, chances are good they are hockey fans.  Maybe football.

So, I was glad to see this.  The issue is that a man named Zdeněk Ondráček is being appointed,  by the Prime Minister, to some government oversight commission, something to do with security.  It amounts, as far as I can tell, to cops investigating cops, undoubtedly with a view to finding nothing wrong.  Problem is, Ondráček was a communist.  Now, that’s not unknown among Czech politicians.  The  Prime Minister, Andrej Babiš, was a pretty big communist himself, which should make it even more suspicious that he’s a billionaire today.  But Ondráček was actually one of the cops busting heads on Wenceslas Square in November, 1989, during communism’s last gasp, and he gave an interview on state TV saying the police acted responsibly and there was no busting of heads.  Sort of like you see in the U.S. today.
Anyway, there was a large protest in Prague, and a lot of other Czech cities, and I’m very happy about that.  Call  the assholes out.

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