Activists paint white crosses at Czech Prime Minister's promotional event

Andrej Babiš gave away ice cream and signed copies of his new book surrounded by white crosses symbolizing those who had died during the pandemic.


Written by ČTK Published on 08.08.2021 09:58:00 (updated on 08.08.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Activists from the Million Moments for Democracy group painted white crosses on the ground in Pruhonice yesterday in remembrance of Covid-19 victims in the Czech Republic. They did so outside a local ice cream shop, before Prime Minister Andrej Babiš began a promotional event at the location at 10:00 a.m.

During the event, Babiš gave away free ice cream and signed copies of his new book, Do share before they ban it!, as part of his current election campaign.

By painting the crosses on the ground, Million Moments wanted to highlight the reality of Babiš' governance in contrast with his campaign ahead of the October general election, Hana Strašáková told CTK on the group's behalf.

"Like a large part of the public, we are disgusted at the PM's campaign. With a broad smile, he presents himself as if nothing ever happened," Million Moments deputy chairman Jiří-Jakub Zévl said.

"However, he and his cabinet are responsible for the botched struggle against the pandemic, during which over 30,000 people have died [in the Czech Republic]."

Crosses remembering the victims of Covid-19, were also sprayed by activists on the pavement of Prague's historical Old Town Square in March. This, too, was an initiative by Million Moments, joined by a number of public supporters.

Around 3 p.m. on Saturday, about 20 opponents of government policy and Covid-19 vaccination showed up at the event. One of them threw an egg at Babiš. Video of the incident was later shared on social media.

"Two people were detained at the scene over a suspected misdemeanor," police spokesman Zdeněk Chalupa said, confirming that a police intervention unit had arrived in Pruhonice.

Babis moved his his autograph session from the open-air ice cream shop to a nearby indoor bistro.

"It was probably the fans of the Free Bloc, or people who are opposed to vaccination and [anti-Covid-19] measures," Babiš told CNN Prima News.

"They grew more and more aggressive and it culminated by them starting to throw eggs. They hit me in the head. A plastic cup of beer hit a young lady."

The Free Bloc is a movement started by two unaffiliated MPs, Lubomir Volny and Marian Bojko, who are considered controversial by many.

Babiš told CTK that he will pay for the square's cleaning. He would not comment on Million Moments' act.

Chalupa said police are investigating the circumstances of spraying the crosses on the square ground.

"The sprayers have been identified, and further steps will be taken based on the ongoing investigation results," he told CTK.

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