Monday, May 01, 2006

Let Havel walk on wild side, demanded activists

Today according to Australian Eastern Standard Time when this item was posted

1989 In Prague, anti-Communist-government protesters demanded the release from jail of playwright Vaclav Havel (b. 1936), who later became President of the Czech Republic. Ironically, these demonstrations occurred on May Day, a day traditionally co-opted by the Communists themselves.

In November 1989, Vaclav Havel was one of the leading initiators of the founding of the Civic Forum, an association uniting opposition civic movements and democratic initiatives. From the very first days of its existence he was the head of the Civic Forum, becoming a key figure of the ‘Velvet Revolution’ (named after Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground rock band), when, beginning on November 17, 1989, hundreds of thousands of demonstrators for freedom took to the streets of Prague. This became a popular uprising that seized the reins of power from the incumbent Communist Party.

Havel's works were banned by the government, but the manuscripts circulated privately and printed in Western Europe. He has been awarded numerous international prizes and honorary doctorates.

Rock music, especially that of Frank Zappa and Lou Reed, and the Czech band Plastic People of the Universe, inspired Havel and other dissidents during their struggle against Soviet rule.

Wilson's Almanac Book of Days hip list :: CounterCulture Wiki

Frank Zappa, Lou Reed and Czech President Vaclav Havel, in the Book of Days

Plenty of May Day origins, folklore and history today in the Book of Days

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