Neighborhood enlargementEuropean historyReport

Prague atmosphere. The students on strike, the population behind

(archives) When I arrived this morning in Prague, I felt that the day was extraordinary. Already when crossing the border by car, we could feel a singular difference. The customs officers who had abandoned their devastating arrogance and were content with a purely formal check left me to imagine what would happen next.

The pace in the capital is a little more active in the morning than in Paris. At 4 o'clock, the streets come alive. At five o'clock, everyone is on the trams and the metro. At six, the street regains a semblance of calm.

Wencelas Square, these are the last major preparations. The students of the day relieved those of the night. Hot drinks and food are circulating. People from the “town” bring blankets and food.

In all the places where we can make a projection, we reproject the images of the latest demonstrations, especially that of Friday, the hardest. Here, it's a theater room, there a café, elsewhere, we've actually plugged in the speakers from a household goods store outside.

Everyone eagerly reads everyone's comments on the news on the walls. If there is a queue in front of the stores, it is not for the food. But rather to listen to a speaker or read these modern dizzabao.

We see the Czechoslovak colors everywhere, which have become the rallying sign of the opposition: on cars, on subways, on official monuments. Everyone participates. And we can no longer count the stores that display Stavk (strike)

The Civic Forum is being organized with hasty excitement: three committees have been created, an Information committee, an Organization committee and a working group.

New fact, everyone is discussing. Which gives a strange atmosphere. In the basements of the metro, one could almost hear the crunching of dust under people's soles, while higher up, on the surface or on the mezzanine, conversations, harangues, cries of joy mingle... Tirelessly, always and again, the people look at each other, discuss… and leave more determined than ever.

The Czechoslovak people seem determined, determined to end it: We want more freedoms, we want the communist government to go, we want real democracy” are the three main ones of their demands. Faced with this, the government remains undecided and there are more and more differences. In fact, the Czechoslovakian opening is doomed… to succeed.

Today we can no longer say that the protest movement is a youth movement. Certainly, young people form its backbone, its apparent appearance. But it is indeed the entire population who have made up their minds, they are behind them. Old-timers from 1968 giving advice to new ones from 1989.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

(first atmospheric paper, produced for Kiss Fm Paris)

 

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).