Thursday, July 10, 2008


The following is from the A-Infos website. It's a brief description of the anarchist role in the protests that greeted the visit of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Prague to sign an agreement with the government of the Czech Republic allowing the US to build a radar installation on Czech soil as part of the "missile defence" project that President Bush wishes to leave as a poisoned legacy of his term of office. The actual interceptor missiles are planned to be based in Poland. Public opinion polls have found that up to 70% of the Czech population is opposed to the base, but the government continues on irregardless. The website of the Czechoslovak Anarchist Federation has a much longer article on the events, but it is unfortunately entirely in Czech. Still, it is worth looking at for the graphics alone. The following differs from the original because it has been slightly edited for English grammar and spelling-including the utterly forgiveable misspelling of Rice's bizarre first name.

Prague, Czech Republic: Anarchists Protest Condoleezza Rice:

On the Tuesday 8th of July, a group of anarchists around the CZECHOSLOVAK ANARCHIST FEDERATION (CSAF), welcomed the U.S. ministress of foreign affairs(Secretary of State-Molly) in front of the Cerninsky Palace in Prague, where Rice, along with Czech companion “Earl” Karel Schwarzenberg, signed a contract about building the U.S. Military radar base in theCzech republic. The anarchists greeted Rice with shouting like: “Rice go home!“ “Anarchists against radar”

---- A Friendly welcome by the anarchists waited for Minister Schwarzenberg as well, who was hit by tomatoes. Then, the “ reception committee” joined the anarchist block on the demonstration of the alliance of “NE zakladnam” (NO to the bases). Around three thousand people joined this demonstration. With never-ending yells, they went through the centre of town down to Prague castle and settled themselves near the place, where the U.S. ministress dined along with Czech representatives of government, who are constantly and arrogantly overlooking the opinion of the majority of people about the presence of U.S. army base.
Lest you think that this is one more example of "anarchists blowing their own horn" here is an item from the English language 'Prague Daily Monitor' showing that the mass media had to pay attention to the anarchists' role as well. The following has also been slightly edited for English grammar.
Hundreds of people protest in Prague against US radar base:
Prague, July 8 (CTK) - Hundreds of people came to Prague's Wenceslas Square yesterday to protest against the signature of the treaty on stationing a U.S. radar base on Czech soil and they followed with a march to Prague Castle.

The treaty was signed in Prague today by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her Czech counterpart Karel Schwarzenberg.

The police estimated the number of protesters at 1800 while the organisers from the No to Bases group speak about 3000 people.

The Prague police spokeswoman told CTK no incidents had been reported during the demonstration.

During the unannounced march the participants blocked traffic at some places in Prague for several tens of minutes.

Close to Prague Castle the riot police blocked the demonstrators' access to the area around Prague Castle and the Foreign Ministry where a reception was held in Rice's honour in one of the palaces in the neighbourhood.(Molly Note-there's a certain irony in this as these palaces are basically Hapsburg creations. May the US Empire become such a distant memory in years to come as the Austro-Hungarian Empire has become)

No to Bases spokesman Jan Tamas tried to break through the police barrier and hand over a letter for Rice, but failed.

He said he will therefore try to hand it to the U.S. embassy together with a gift - a piece of barbed wire from the site of the future radar base.

The demonstrators shouted slogans like "Shame to the government," "We do not want the radar here," "We will not be silent," "Topolanek out."

Topolanek is Czech prime minister.

Tamas said protests will continue and that the activists will try in parliament to prevent the building of the base.

To take effect, the treaty has to be ratified by parliament and signed by the Czech President.

The demonstrators called for a referendum to be held on the radar base. They said some 100,000 people have signed a referendum petition, and that seven million out of the ten million Czech citizens are opposed to the base.

The protest action brought together Communists, Greens as well as anarchists. Jan Neoral, mayor of Trokavec, a village close to the site of the future radar base, was also present.

Communists (KSCM) chairman Vojtech Filip and Social Democrat Jan Kavan, former foreign minister and former U.N. General Assembly President, were observing the protest action.

The Prague demonstration was supported by several tens of people outside the Czech embassy in Warsaw.

They also called for a referendum to be held on the stationing of the other part of the U.S. anti-missile system in Europe - interceptor missiles in Poland.
A Final Molly Note:
While looking things up for this blog Molly found that googling "+"Condoleezza Rice" +protests" produced 1,340,000 hits. Given this statistic Molly hazards a guess that Rice probably has the title of "most unpopular woman in the world" sewed up tightly. One wonders if anyone predicted this in her high school yearbook.


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