November 17 celebrations at Prague's Národní třída via Aktron / Wikimedia Commons

Prague’s Festival of Freedom events visited by 200,000 people, according to mobile operator estimates

More than 200,000 people joined Prague's Velvet Revolution celebrations honoring the 30th anniversary of the fall of the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia on Sunday, November 17

Prague, Nov 18 (CTK) – More than 200,000 people visited the events that were part of the Festival of Freedom, organised to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the fall of the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia on Sunday, November 17, the festival’s spokesman Petr Meskan told CTK today.

The number of visitors is based on data provided by the O2 mobile operator.

“When measuring attendance, we use anonymised data about the number of active SIM cards reporting to the local signal tower. In this case, the locations were Albertov, Narodni trida street and Wenceslas Square. The results are then recalculated based on the whole population,” O2 spokeswoman Lucie Jungmannova said.

In order to be counted, each participant had to spend at least 30 minutes on location, which means that passers-by were not counted among the participants.

Roughly 11,000 people took part in the Velvet March, which traced the route of the November 17, 1989, student protest march. The total numbers were the highest in the festival’s six-year history.

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According to the organisers, the Korzo Narodni event specifically saw the highest number of attendees, roughly 125,000 people.

For security reasons, the organisers had to cancel or shorten some of the 120 events in the programme.

The data from the T-Mobile mobile operator show 48,000 people attending the events at Albertov on Sunday. On Wenceslas Square, the number that day was 350,000. The number at Narodni was 313,000, roughly 80 percent more than on a regular Sunday.

On Saturday, Prague saw another unique event take place, namely the demonstration against PM Andrej Babis (ANO) at Letna, attended by 250,000 to 300,000 protesters.

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