Prague, Feb 16 (CTK) – A new series of protest events and public debates in Czech regional centres will start in Plzeň on February 25, continue on Tuesdays and end with a big event in Prague on June 2, Million Moments for Democracy, which staged several protests against PM Andrej Babiš last year, said today.
During the upcoming Relay for Democracy protests, the organisers want each time to focus on one nationwide problem that negatively affects the given region. As a result, political issues will be discussed as well as social, economic and environmental, Million Moments wrote in a press release.
The public debates will be attended by personalities who are popular nationwide or in the region where the protest will be held. Experts will be attending as well to comment on the discussed problems, the organisers wrote.
There are 14 self-rule regions in the Czech Republic, with the capital Prague being one of them but simultaneously being the centre of the Central Bohemia Region, which is why 13 protest events are to take place gradually.
They may be complemented by artistic performances or short presentations of people who have been harmed as a result of the problem tormenting their home region.
Million Moments said it will be announcing the themes of the debates and protests gradually, one after another.
It said the country’s problem is not only PM Babiš (ANO), who has been prosecuted for a suspected EU subsidy fraud and is in a suspected conflict of interest, but also other risks, whose common denominator is the contempt of democratic institutions, as shown by ANO, the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) movement, the Communists (KSCM) and President Milos Zeman.
An example of this is the degradation of the post of the ombudsman, the public protector of citizens’ rights, by the recent election of Stanislav Krecek by parliament, Million Moments wrote.
In the lower house’s secret ballot, Krecek, a nominee of Zeman, defeated two rivals nominated by the Senate and supported by the centre-right opposition.
The opposition KSCM keeps Babiš’s minority government of ANO and the Social Democrats (CSSD) afloat in parliament. The populist opposition SPD often votes together with the government as well.
In its press release, Million Moments also said that a danger is faced by Czech Radio and Czech Television, which are public corporations and will see their respective supervisory councils’ members elected by parliament soon.
“Let’s stand up to misuse of power. Let’s make it clear that we are determined to face this. Let’s name the things loudly. Let’s openly discuss our country’s fundamental problems, the things people are worried about, the ways to change them to the better, and also our idea of what we want our country to be and what we can do for it. It is important not to keep silent. It is our constitutional right, but also our civic duty,” Million Moments chairman Mikulas Minar wrote.
The goal of the protest events is to inform the public about problems burdening the Czech Republic and outline possible solutions.
“We will show people how to join in, with whom to cooperate and how they can spread information. The Relay [protests] will also highlight some neglected problems in the regions ahead of the autumn regional elections, and give a chance to politicians to start solving them,” Million Moments wrote.
Timetable of events Million Moments is staging in regional centres:
February 25: Plzeň
March 3: Jihlava
March 10: Pardubice
March 17: Olomouc
March 24: Hradec Králové
March 31: České Budějovice
April 7: Ústí nad Labem
April 14: Zlín
April 28: Brno
May 5: Karlovy Vary
May 12: Liberec
May 19: Ostrava
June 2: Prague