HISTORY MEME[1/10] moments - The Velvet Revolution (November 17 - December 29, 1989)

The Velvet Revolution began somewhat spontaneously on November 17, 1989, with a student march organized to mark the 50th anniversary of a protestor’s death in a student demonstration against the Nazi occupation. However, it quickly turned into an anti-government protest, with students carrying banners and chanting anti-Communist slogans. Although the student protest was conducted in a peaceful manner, 167 student protestors were hospitalized after being beaten by police. The demonstration and its accompanying violence inspired workers’ unions and other civic groups to organize for a free and democratic Czechoslovakia.

Following the student demonstration, mass protests were held in several cities across Czechoslovakia. Actors and playwrights were prominent within the dissident movement, so theaters became meeting places where activists devised their political strategies and held public discussions.During a discussion held in a Prague theatre on November 19, a group called the Civic Forum was established as a collection of spokespeople of the democratic movement.The group demanded “the resignation of the Communist government, the release of prisoners of conscience, and investigations into the November 17 police action.”

One symbolic element of the demonstrations of the Velvet Revolution was the jingling of keys. The practice had a double meaning—it not only symbolized the unlocking of doors, but was the demonstrators’ way of telling the Communists, “Goodbye, it’s time to go home.”  [x] [x] 
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