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Mayday Prague

Czechoslovak Anarchist News-service, message 003/2000
Prague - May 2nd - 1st May 2000 in Czech republic
Brutal Police assault on anarchist demonstration - 53 comrades detained

Various political groups organised their 1st May actions all over the Czech republic. Traditionally largest action was held by post-Stalinist Czech CP in Prague, which withheld its ugly tradition of militarised Bolshevik street parades, saluting the highest Party leaders, gathered on elevated platform. Yesterday they did held real rally, mainly because of the high average age of Czech CP. Almost 75% of 5000 gathered CP members on Letenska square in Prague, have been hard-line Stalinists older than 60 years. Young Bolsheviks/Trotskyists still does not have potential to organise their own actions, so they parasited not only in CP action, but in all other actions as well.

In Prague and Karvina neonazis organised counter-actions and tried in vain to attack all leftist currents and anarchists in separate small combat groups.

Social-democrats, currently governing party in Czech republic, attracted some 300 people in Prague Vystaviste square, praised their non-existing Orwell-like successes in economical development of Czech republic and nonexistent raising of social standards. Official trade unions, closely interconnected with social democratic party, were silent.

Anarchists organised two actions. First of them was organised in Czech capital Prague and was marked by rare coordination of all four organisations, stating to struggle for anarchist ideas (Federation of Social Anarchists, Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation, Solidarity and Antifascist Action). FSA-IWA took part very intensively in all preparations for Prague action. The demonstration was marked by unusual high level of anarchist political culture and open declarations of anarchist communism as final goal of anarchist movement, which was disapproved by some liberal-pro-democratic and green-primitivist elements in anarchist movement. This caused relatively low number of participants in comparison with previous years, but was counterweighted by much higher political quality and culture of the action therefore much more positive and direct impact on general public.

At 1 PM approximately 150 people gathered on Strelecky Island in centre of Prague, traditional anarchist 1st May meeting point since year 1890. FSA-IWA displayed its large banner "Anarchist communism - the alternative for the world in crisis." From the very beginning the whole action was encircled by 500 riot Police troopers with detachments of horsebacks, assault dogs and water cannon. The only entry to the Island was quickly blocked by numerous Police troops, which prevented more people to attend the rally. Shortly before the start, Police declared rally outlawed and proclaimed that if the area shall not be cleared within ten minutes, all participating persons would be apprehended and rally dispersed. This is gross breach of not only universal and natural freedom of expression and gathering, but surprisingly even of the Czech capitalist state laws.

The Police call had been ignored and representatives of anarchist organisations started to have their speeches. In the middle of FSA-IWA spokesperson speech, he was arrested and Riot Police troopers started massive attack against gathered anarchists. Police started to violently abuse and arrest especially well-known activists. Three FSA-IWA members were arrested. (See Message 004/2000) Anarchists started to offer passive or even active resistance but in vain. Anarchists tried to continue with speeches. Police reacted with new wave of violence and arrested for instance spokesperson of Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation. The clashes took place on the limited and closed space and it was impossible to organise effective defence against approximately hundred riot troopers, arresting active anarchists - with active help and supervision of Secret Political Police officers. Police arrested on the spot 15 anarchists. Later on all anarchists were forced to prove their identity and were filmed and added to Police blacklists

Shortly after separate group of some 70 anarchists tried to organise improvised street rally, but was encircled by numerous riot police troops and arrested. Together Police arrested 53 people. Detained anarchists were again violently abused. Arrested FSA-IWA member had his head smashed against doors of Police van, second arrested FSA-IWA member was beaten by riot troopers, many others detainees were beaten, thrown to ground and kicked by groups of riot troopers, who proclaimed violent threats to them.

The whole action is the first massive Police action against anarchists this year, directed by old/new team of new social-democratic minister of internal affairs. The Czech Police prepares to Anti-IMF protests, held in Prague in September this year. In Prague alone, number of police officers in duty was raised by 1000. Special Political Police was added 40 more specialists on "anti-extremist" work, with sole aim to disturb the preparations for Anti-IMF protests.

The second anarchist 1st May action

FSA-IWA organised one more public action. A street rally was held in town Most, one of the centres of mining and heavy-industry region of Northern Bohemia. The action organised as a part of the struggle against unemployment (in Most region unemployment recently exceeded 20% and locally more than 40%) was held under the banner of campaign for 30-hours workweek. More than 70 anarchists and sympathisers gathered in front of the Most railway station with several slogan banners and many pickets. The action, intensively covered by local media, was peaceful and won sympathetic news coverage. Afterwards the anarchists organised discussion on political and social topics in local pub. Demonstration again showed solidarity to miners of Kohinnoor brown-coal mine, threatened by mass sackings, see Message 001/2000 concerning Kohinoor mine occupation strike.

With anarchist-communist greetings
FSA-IWA International secretariat


Czechoslovak Anarchist News-service
Provided by Federation of social anarchists,
Czechoslovak section of International Workers Association

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