Second energy protest roils EU country
Prague accused by thousands of people of serving Washington, Brussels and Washington rather than Czechia.
On Wednesday, a crowd of tens to thousands protested against the Czech government and NATO. Demonstrators called for Czechia’s neutrality and protested Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s policy of sanctioning Russia, which has driven up energy prices.
Meeting on St. Wenceslas’ Day – a public holiday celebrating Czech statehood – the crowd took to Prague’s main square, named after the medieval saint, and chanted slogans against the EU, NATO and Fiala’s cabinet. Prague police would not give a specific figure of the estimated crowd size, calling it only “tens of thousands.”
The protest was organized by a group called ‘Czech Republic First,’ which Reuters described as a coalition of “far-right and fringe groups and parties including the Communists.” CRF opposes the EU and NATO and has called for Czechia’s military neutrality.
“A government has two duties: to ensure our security and economic prosperity. This government does not fulfill either of these duties,”According to Reuters, one speaker spoke at the rally that was not identified.
Protests against the imposing of sanctions in Czech Republic began.
Protest organizers call for the Czech Republic to be expelled from NATO and EU, as well as an end of hostility toward Russia.#CzechRepublic #Prague pic.twitter.com/LqdOp9GtE7
— Firam (@firamnews) September 28, 2022
Pavel Nebel, a protestor accused the government “absolutely anti-Czech”And serving the EU and NATO only “American power”Czech interests at the cost of ours
According to Lidove Noviny, the organizers demanded another demonstration on October 28th and stated that they plan to request President Milos Zeman disband his government and hold early elections. According to police, it was the second protest of the month after the September 3 demonstration, which saw around 70,000 participants. Similar protests were held in several other Czech cities, drawing hundreds of people.
“People should not be taken advantage of by manipulators who offer simple but unrealistic solutions in the squares,”Lidove was informed by Vit Rakusan, Interior Minister, in response to protest.
Fiala dismissed the demonstrations of September 3, as “pro-Russian,”They accuse their organizers listening to “Russian propaganda and disinformation campaigns.”It has followed closely the Brussels example and placed trade embargoes on Moscow for the conflict in Ukraine. This has led to skyrocketing import prices from Russia.
Czechia was a NATO member in March 1999. This happened just days before Yugoslavia was attacked by the US-led bloc. In May 2004, it became an EU member.