Czech protest movement to demonstrate against government handling of coronavirus crisis

The Million Moments for Democracy group has a protest planned for early June in Old Town Square; particpants are asked to respect social distancing


Written by ČTK Published on 29.05.2020 08:44:50 (updated on 29.05.2020) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague, May 28 (CTK) – The Million Moments for Democracy group will stage a protest march from Prague’s Old Town Square to the Government Office seat on June 9 to show its disapproval of the government’s behavior not only during the recent coronavirus epidemic it said in a press release yesterday.

During the national state of emergency from mid-March to mid-May, the cabinet stirred up chaos, curtailed citizens’ rights, and transgressed its powers, Million Moments wrote.

Since 2018, Million Moments has been campaigning for ANO leader Andrej Babis’s resignation as the Czech prime minister. It has collected signatures and staged a series of demonstrations, the biggest of which, held in Prague last June, was attended by about 250,000 people and became the biggest protest rally in the country since the anti-communist revolution in 1989.

During the coronavirus crisis, it turned out that the government representatives put their own interests above the public interests, Million Moments wrote.

“Out of the emergency decisions, the most problematic was the insufficient economic support for people and firms, the dubious government-organized purchases and the support provided to Chinese firms at the cost of Czech firms,” the organization said.

It continued to say that the government failed to present any plans for how to face the upcoming economic crisis or a possible second wave of the epidemic.

Protesters on Letna Plain, June 2019

During the epidemic, the government attempted to go beyond the framework of democracy by proposing problematic bills, the critics continue, referring to “a bill aimed to prevent the identification of real owners of trust funds and a bill aimed to legalize the strange purchases made by the Health Ministry”, among others.

Furthermore, Million Moments criticized the recent election of new members of the Council of the Czech Television (CT), a public broadcaster, by the Chamber of Deputies.

“With the choice of the new CT Council members we are watching the decline of another institution aimed to protect the independence of media,” Million Moments wrote, reacting to Wednesday’s election of economist Hana Lipovska, journalist Pavel Matocha, and moderator Lubomir Vesely, a result which a part of the opposition called a threat to CT’s independence.

The planned protest march will start in Prague’s Old Town Square on June 9, 18:00. The participants are to silently head for the Government Office seat across the Vltava River.

“The burning silence will be followed by a loud asking of questions outside the Government Office,” the organizers wrote, calling on the participants to wear face masks and keep at a two-meter distance from each other as preventive measures in the wake of the coronavirus epidemic.

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