The demonstration against Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš at Prague’s Wenceslas Square two weeks ago was billed as the biggest-ever in Prague since the Velvet Revolution – and very well may have been, with an estimated 120,000 protesters turning up and media reports covering the event from around the world.
But the next demonstration in Prague is certain to be even bigger, with a number of participants almost certain to set a record for the 26-year-old Czech Republic.
On a Facebook event page, approximately 140,000 people have already confirmed interest for the demonstration on Sunday, June 23 from 16:30 on Prague’s immense Letná Plain, a large park and open field in Prague 7.
Going by previous demonstrations, the number of actual attendees at the event is expected to be significantly higher. Organizers currently expect over 200,000 to participate in the demonstration this Sunday at Letná.
The progression of the recent protests in Prague follows a remarkably similar path to the ones that led to the fall of communism in the country 30 years ago during the Velvet Revolution.
When the number of protesters exceeded the capacity of Prague’s Wenceslas Square on November 17, a subsequent demonstration was held in Letná Plain on November 26, attended by an estimated 800,000 people from across the country.
The June 23 protest in Letná, like previous events over the past months held at Prague’s Wenceslas Square, is organized by Milion chvilek pro demokracii (A Million Moments for Democracy), who have stated their goals on their official website:
“The multiple conflicts of interest of Andrei Babiš are completely unacceptable,” the organizers state.
1 / Adoption of an Independence Insurance Policy + Resignation of Marie Benešova!
2 / Agrofert will return any unduly received subsidies.
3 / An end to subsidies, tax reliefs, investment incentives and government contracts for Agrofert.
4 / Andrej Babiš will divest his media interests.
5 / Resignation of Andrej Babiš.”
[Marie Benešova is the newly-appointed Czech Minister of Justice, who is not expected to pursue action against Babiš (more info here). Agrofert is the corporation founded by Andrej Babiš, and currently owned by trust funds controlled by his family.]
According to the organizers, tens of thousands of demonstrators will be coming from outside of Prague, and travelling to the city by train or bus.
Czech Railway authority České dráhy has assured the organizers that they will monitor interest in the travel to and from Prague on Sunday, and add additional trains as necessary.
The demonstration in Prague will not be the only protest against Babiš to take place this Sunday.
Czech expat communities abroad will also hold concurrent protests to show their support in cities around the world, including Chicago, London, Paris, Dublin, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Strasbourg, The Hague, Pakoštane (Croatia), and Tel Aviv.
A map of buses throughout the Czech Republic bringing people to Prague’s Letná Plain on Sunday, as well as supporting events across the world, can be found here.