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Thursday Flakes: The Velvet Revolution

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Let’s talk about an important day in Czech and Slovak history.

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Demonstrators During Velvet Revolution
500,000 people are in this picture
Photo by Peter Turnley/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

Today’s flakes is being written as I am making my way to Budapest. I figured it was fitting to spend my last day in Slovakia during a holiday on November 17th commemorating the start of the Velvet Revolution. A week after the Berlin Wall fell on November 10th, students gathered in Prague on November 17th to protest the communist regime and remember the 50th anniversary of a Nazi attack on Prague students that killed nine people. There were also protests in Bratislava the day before on November 16th but with no police intervention. That wasn’t the case in Prague as the police did get involved and tried to beat down some of the protesters. This only empowered more people around Czechoslovakia to go out and protest in every major city.

By November 20th, 500,000 people gathered in Prague’s Wenceslas Square to peacefully protest. The police didn’t intervene this time. The Velvet Revolution led to the eventual collapse of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia by the end of 1989. Today this day is remembered as a struggle for freedom and democracy. No big parties or parades but a time to step back and honor the people who made sacrifices for the Czech Republic and Slovakia in the fight for freedom from the communist regime. Click here if you want to read more details about this important moment in history. Now onto Flakes...


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One Last Thing