The Czech Republic has witnessed mass anti-austerity protests against the government. A Czech activist reports on Prague’s biggest demonstration since 1989

On Saturday 21st April more then 120,000 people gathered at Wenceslas Square in Prague to demonstrate against government cuts. The demonstration was a climax of the so called Week of Protests organised by the platform “STOP VLÁDĚ” (Stop the Government).

“It is the very first time we have managed to get together trade unionists, civic society initiatives and activists from a broad political spectrum. The platform is composed by 64 of them and more new people are coming to support our efforts,” says Jan Májíček, one of the organizers from the ProAlt initiative.

The catalyst for the protest were plans of the Czech right-wing coalition government to implement savage austerity measures including university tuition, freezing of pensions, rising of VAT, privatisation of health care and the transformation of job centres by private companies.

“In ProAlt we started our protests in summer 2010, after the general election when we saw the plans of the coalition government. It took some time but now we have powerful anti-cuts coalition and we will continue to oppose the neoliberal logic of the reforms – whether organised by right-wing parties or the Social Democrats.”

The government has been shaken by internal disputes between coalition parties, and the protest of 120 000 people – the biggest demonstration since the Velvet Revolution of 1989 – has been massive blow as well. Organizers agreed and declared that if the government would not fall on Monday they will stage new protest including a general strike.

ProAlt’s Manifesto ‘Society Cannot be Cut Out’ is available in English.

From International Socialist Group site

Prague protestors