Thousands of citizens gathered in Prague, at Old Town Square on Sunday, Jan 10., to demonstrate the Czech government’s crushing Chinese coronavirus measures. Citizens are no longer accepting the states arbitrary and scientifically unproven approach to tackling the virus and are demanding their freedoms are restored.
Citizens attending the “Let’s Open the Czech Republic (Otevřeme Česko)” carried Czech flags and held sign saying, ‘COVID tyranny’, ‘Let’s stop totalitarianism in the name of Covid!’ and ” ‘We are not sheep’ . Many protesters came with their families and brought small children.
“We want to open the Czech Republic. The government’s measures do not work and will never work. On the contrary, they cause far more drastic epidemics, namely epidemics of poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and failing companies,” said Jiří Janeček, co-organizer of the demonstration and an entrepreneur in the hospitality industry..
“People feel that money is one thing, but losing the opportunity to associate, go to sports, go to restaurants and theaters, they perceive it as a great loss of their personal freedom, which is guaranteed to them by our constitution,” said Jakub Olbert, a restaurant owner.
During the two-hour demonstration, there were speeches by government representatives, famous actors and singers, small business owners, entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, fitness trainers, doctors, academics, and business union leaders.
The former President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus also spoke at the demonstration. “I came mainly to express my unconditional support to the organizers and participants of this event,” Klaus said. The former president criticized the government’s harsh measures. “There have been enough prohibitions and orders that fundamentally damage our lives, our professional and life activities,” he said. He also opposed the coronavirus vaccination, saying that there was no miracle vaccine. “Vaccination must not be compulsory. I, even at an at-risk age, will not get vaccinated,” he added.
The convener of the demonstration and the chairman of the Svobodné political party, Libor Vondráček said that the goals of their protests are twofold. In the long run, it is the “opening of the Czech Republic”, and in the short term, the government will start communicating with the people affected by the current measures and to have a real dialogue with them. According to him, it is no longer just about entrepreneurs who are suffering, but also, their clients, children in schools, elderly, and others.
“Whatever the government does only makes this situation worse. Today, with the numbers we know about the infection of the population in the Czech Republic, we can say that the government has lost this battle with the pandemic. Let them throw a white towel into the ring and start protecting those who need it and want it. Let them return to the Czech Republic a normal world. Let us go to work again. Many people are so mentally and financially so bad that if they still have to suffer from this disease, it is worth it for them. We will fight this pandemic far better, provided we are a healthy and a hard-working nation with its security, its workers and its children in schools,” added Jiří Janeček.
Janeček organized a previous protest that made a line of beer mugs and candles between the Government Office and Prague’s Old Town Square. Janeček was trying to bring attention to the many pub owners and restaurateurs on the brink of financial disaster.
Watch the following video clip of the demonstration exclusively translated by RAIR Foundation USA,
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[sign] Stop COVID Tyranny — [let’s] stop tyranny in the name of COVID [banner] stop corona terror[ism] …isn’t, because it is always being limited in only one way, and it just does not work, we are getting more ill [people], so it is not likely to come down to closing pubs and small stores, perhaps it will depend on something else. The advice to the government [is] that it should start discussions with actual experts, with people from a wide spectrum, because I don’t think that everything should be decided just by epidemiologists, and that epidemiologists should step back from the table, and that it is necessary to speak with economists, sociologists, psychologists, educators and so on. This is wrong. [bottom of sign visible at top left] “Sheep”