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Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution Started 30 Years Ago—But It Was Decades in the Making

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tags: Velvet Revolution, Czechoslovakia



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On Nov. 17, 1989, student protesters filled the streets of Prague. It was eight days after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the same tide of freedom that had swept Berlin seemed to have come to the Czech capital. Police tried to beat back the demonstrators, hoping to tamp down the demand for freedom, but the people seemed to have grown immune to the brutality of the regime; the show of force only galvanized the resistance.

The students were joined in the coming days by Czechoslovak citizens of all ages. By Nov. 20, a half-million Czechs and Slovaks filled Prague’s streets and took over Wenceslas Square. The Communists were forced out. By the end of 1989, Czechoslovakia was on its way to having an elected President for the first time since 1948.

The events of those world-changing days would come to be known as the Velvet Revolution. But, while the Velvet Revolution was over relatively quickly, it had been decades in the making.

Read entire article at Time

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