Some 500 People Celebrate November ’89 Along with Opposition

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People celebrating the Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy on the Slovak National Uprising Square in Bratislava on Thursday (photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 17 (TASR) – Enough of Prime Minister Robert Fico; we didn’t want this; it’s time for a new November – such were the slogans that reverberated at the Slovak National Uprising Square on Thursday.

There were around 500 people celebrating November 17, 1989 at an event organised by the Opposition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) and OLaNO-NOVA parties, along with the extraparliamentary Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) and Independents Miroslav Beblavy and Zsolt Simon.

“I sue you, who didn’t stop the corruption, although you could have. I sue you, who didn’t promote the rule of law. I sue you, politicians, who are defending thieves,” said OLaNO-NOVA MP Jan Budaj. He again called for scrapping “the bloody Meciar amnesties” and declared that Slovakia is threatened by politicians that don’t know how to introduce justice.

SaS leader Richard Sulik said that many of the 27 years since the Velvet Revolution have been wasted.

“We didn’t want this,” emphasised Simon, adding that it isn’t enough just to celebrate November ’89, but also to implement the ideals behind it. “The values of November aren’t compatible with a government of corruption and clientelism,” he added.

Beblavy added that it’s our duty to call for change so that our children won’t have to call for it themselves in another 27 years from now. “So that they can say that they’re living in a country that belongs among the best in Europe,” said Beblavy.

KDH chairman Alojz Hlina thinks that it’s time for a new November. “We’ve ruined it; it’s time for change. Let’s not give up; Slovakia is our country. We have to pluck it from hands that have never created anything, that have been stealing what others created. It’s time for change,” emphasised Hlina.

Activists Alena Krempaska and Peter Weisenbacher, who have been criticising OLaNO-NOVA leader Igor Matovic for a long time, also came to the event bearing banners stating that they didn’t want islamophobic liberals against freedom and solidarity, homophobic ordinary people and hateful personalities and November 17 reserved for selected parties.

At the beginning of November 1989, members of the Public Security [the name of the police under the socialist regime – ed.note] attacked students who were marching in support of basic human rights in Prague. This caused public outrage, and more and more students began to demonstrate against the socialist regime, resulting in its fall. The people of Czechoslovakia, as well as of other central and eastern European nations, demanded democracy, freedom, the protection of human rights and freedom of religion in 1989.

Around the world, November 17 is known as International Students’ Day, but Slovakia turned this day into a public holiday in 2001. It’s now celebrated in Slovakia as the Day of the Fight for Freedom and Democracy.

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