"The Velvet Revolution Isn't Over - Let's Complete It" was the tagline of a gathering of around 50 people in Bratislava on Sunday, November 14, ahead of the upcoming anniversary on November 17 of the Velvet Revolution that led to the fall of communism in 1989, the TASR newswire reported.
Those attending the rally pointed to discrepancies between democratic ideals and subsequent reality, with their views summed up in a document entitled the Civic Charter 2010. This comes as a reference to a document called Charter 77 dated 1977 that was a petition drawn up by a handful of then Czechoslovak writers and intellectuals. The signers of the 1977 document demanded that the Communist government of then Czechoslovakia recognise some basic human rights.
Civic Charter 2010 states that in November 1989 people felt a gust of hope that now turns out to have been a squandered opportunity, saying that on the one hand, foundations of a free and equal co-existence of all citizens have been established but that a plurality of public discussion is suffering.
"Ever more laws that run contrary to the spirit of the Velvet Revolution are being adopted ... democracy is metamorphosing from spontaneous activities of the civic society to a depleted formal procedure that is prone to being misused," according to Charter 2010.
"In 1989, we were bestowed with an opportunity to begin to build up democratic relations. But it's been turning out over the past two decades that we're rather going astray from the ideals of the Velvet Revolution and that this state is governed by people who give citizens a miss, don't need them, and that, apart from elections, actually view them as obstacles," university lecturer Eduard Chmelár told TASR.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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15. Nov 2010 at 14:00