1,000 Czechs march in Prague, protest against anti-COVID restrictions

With flags, bells and whistles, demonstrators marched through the capital, speaking out against government’s anti-Covid lockdown restrictions.

ČTK

Written by ČTK
Published on 18.11.2020 11:36 (updated on 18.11.2020)

On the 31st anniversary of the fall of communism in Czechoslovakia, an estimated one thousand protesters paraded through Prague yesterday, demonstrating against the Czech government's anti-pandemic lockdown measures.

Protesters gather at the top of Wenceslas Square during a rally against lockdown restrictions in the country. (photo: Raymond Johnston - Expats.cz)
Protesters gather at the top of Wenceslas Square during a rally against lockdown restrictions in the country. (photo: Raymond Johnston - Expats.cz)

Protesters began their march in Wenceslas Square around 16:00, from where they paraded through the streets to the National Theatre and back again to sing the national anthem. Adding to their numbers, a corresponding protest that was originally to take place on Letna joined the group on the Square.

Protesters gathered in Prague's Wenceslas Square before marching through the streets. (photo: James Fassinger - Expats.cz)
Protesters gathered in Prague's Wenceslas Square before marching through the streets. (photo: James Fassinger - Expats.cz)

Some 700 police officers, including members of the anti-conflict team, monitored the rally put on by One Joint Czech Heart for Freedom, but did not intervene, police spokesman Jan Danek told CTK.

A demonstrator talks with members of the police 'anti-conflict' team during the rally on Wenceslas Square. (photo: James Fassinger - Expats.cz)
A demonstrator talks with members of the police 'anti-conflict' team during the rally on Wenceslas Square. (photo: James Fassinger - Expats.cz)

However, police did detain two people for minor offenses, one for using fireworks and the other one for being drunk and disorderly, Danek added.

Many at the rally made speeches, "We have a lion in the state coat of arms, not a sheep, so let us behave accordingly," one of the speakers told the crowd.

People gather atop Wenceslas Square draped in Czech national flags during the rally. (photo: James Fassinger - Expats.cz)
People gather atop Wenceslas Square draped in Czech national flags during the rally. (photo: James Fassinger - Expats.cz)

As they marched through the streets, protesters yelled to onlookers to remove their face masks and join the procession.

Demonstrators carried Czech flags and banners with anti-government inscriptions, such as "Even Viruses Are More Capable than the Government." During the march, people chanted slogans, "Freedom, Freedom!", "Children to Schools" and "We Want to Go to Work."

The march ended back at Wenceslas Square where participants sang the national anthem and began to leave soon after. There were no incidents with the police and the demonstration broke up peacefully.

Many showed up on Wenceslas Square to protest anti-covid lockdown measures, like these two students with a sign wanting to return to school. (photo: James Fassinger)
Many showed up on Wenceslas Square to protest anti-covid lockdown measures, like these two students with a sign wanting to return to school. (photo: James Fassinger)

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A two-hour demonstration also took place the center of Brno, the second largest town in the Czech Republic yesterday.