Prague, 17 November 1989

sovietkiss

Where’s homophobia when you need it? I bought this satirical take on communist comradeship going much too far (original photo here) at Prague’s small but very interesting Museum of Communism when I was there in August.

While there you can watch a video of the student demonstration that 20 years ago today was the beginning of the end of communist rule in Czechoslavakia. I’d forgotten about this event; the amazing scenes in Wenceslas Square a couple of days later with a huge crowd chanting ‘Dubcek! Dubcek!’ as Alexander Dubcek, leader of the crushed 1968 attempt to reform Czech communism, and future president Vaclav Havel appeared before them, had wiped lesser memories.

The video was a reminder that the fall of communism was not entirely peaceful, with police – uniformed and plain clothes – brutally attacking the demonstrators. While no students were killed, many were injured. But the time for accepting this kind of treatment was over, and the ‘Velvet Revolution’ began.

2 thoughts on “Prague, 17 November 1989

  1. I visited that museum too when I was in Prague last December, found it very interesting. In 2013 the Czechs will be liberated from Vaclav Klaus, just like the Poles will be liberated from Lech Kaczynski next year – I often wonder which one is more odd 🙂

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  2. Surely the card would offend as many, if not more, gays than straights – the sight of two leathery old bags of wrinkles pashing one another would be a right turn-off.

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