The Daily 750









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Where's the Middle Eastern Version of This Man?

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Do you know this man?













This will help:



The poster says:
Vaclav Havel
Candidate of Civic Forum and Public Against Violence
For the office of President






I picked up the 1990 election poster during my first visit to Prague, in early spring of 1991. The posters were still up all around town and lives were lived through an electricity of freedom, the friction of a new democracy rubbing against the ebbing totalitarianism of the Soviet Union. There were no guarantees.

Civic Forum (OF) and Public Against Violence (VPN) were basically the same anti-totalitarian political organizations, based, respectively, in the Czech (Prague) and the Slovak (Bratislavia) parts of what was then Czechoslovakia. They've since splintered into various other parties.

On this day in 1989 the Velvet Revolution began: riot police severely beat back a group of Prague students who were peacefully protesting against the government. Daily demonstrations joined by increasingly large segments of the population led, only 11 days later, to the resignation of the Communist Party. By the end of the year the barbed wire had been removed from the borders and Vaclav Havel had been elected president by the Federal Assembly. My poster is from the June, 1990 fully democratic elections in which the citizens reaffirmed Havel's presidency.

Happy Anniversary!

Wikipedia and National Security Archives for info on the Velvet Revolution and its actors.