On Monday morning, the Milion chvilek association prepared a happening called “Taken by ANO-FERTEM” in dozens of towns across the Czech Republic. According to the association, the event is intended to draw attention to the “growth of the ANO/Agrofert conglomerate through our state,” which it believes could escalate if the ANO movement falls from power after the parliamentary elections.
Volunteers from the association wrapped selected public space objects such as bus stops, statues, and fountains with yellow execution tape early Monday morning. In addition to Prague, the event takes place in about three dozen cities, including Brno, Ostrava, Hradec Králové, and Plzeň. Hana Strašáková, spokesperson for Milion Chvilek, informed about it.
“This is a non-violent political protest that highlights the toxic subjugation of the state by the Agrofert concern. Andrej Babiš’s fingers are already reaching far. And if he continues to be the head of our state, it will not be as terrible as it is now. It will be much worse. But we still have a chance to stop it,” the spokeswoman said.
The association said it wanted to warn that if Babiš remains prime minister after the October parliamentary elections, the penetration of private interest into the public sphere will intensify. “Apart from farmland, forests, food processing companies, health care facilities, and state offices, the greed of Prime Minister Babiš and his ANO-FERTU has already swallowed up virtually every corner of this country that is supposed to serve the citizens in this dystopian vision of the future. And that is what the tapes are supposed to symbolize, ” said Jiří-Jakub Zévl, the vice-chair of Milion Chvilek.
The tapes with the inscription “Confiscated by ANO-FERTEM” have thus appeared at frequent places where people go to work or shopping, for example. In Prague, there is tape in about a dozen places. For instance, in Wenceslas Square, the statue of St. Wenceslas is surrounded by tape. Other tapes can be seen at busy metro stations, such as Florenc, Anděl, or I. P. Pavlova.
According to the organizers, the protest is entirely legal, and they will remove the tapes again after the rally is over.