Tense Demonstrations Erupt in Prague against U.S. Base Placement

Vít Hassan

On May 30th, a demonstration against the placement of a U.S. base in the Czech Republic took place at Malostranské náměstí in Prague. The event began at 3:00 PM and attracted around four hundred participants, with more joining later. Around 3:30 PM, heavily armored police officers arrived at the scene.

A conflict arose at the start of the demonstration between the participants and a group of motorcyclists who intentionally disrupted the event by revving their engines. This behavior annoyed the attendees, prompting some of them to stand on the road to block the motorcyclists’ path.

Several individuals spat at the motorcyclists, while others attempted to grab them while riding. One of the motorcyclists drove into the demonstrators, leading to police intervention. This situation repeated itself as the group circled the square approximately three times within half an hour. American flags were observed on some of the motorcycles.

The overall atmosphere of the demonstration can be described as tense and hostile toward U.S. politics. Representatives of the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM), including Kateřina Konečná, Milan Krajči, and Petra Prakšanová, were present, and Konečná emphasized that American soldiers would not pay taxes. Such statements fueled strong emotions among the crowd.

Most banners displayed the slogan “Ami, go home.” The atmosphere was further intensified by the presence of individuals like Tomáš Čermák, who was sentenced to five and a half years for supporting terrorism and was seen holding a Russian flag. Despite calls from the organizers to display only Czech flags, Čermák responded to a reporter by stating, “They just showed themselves to be democrats.”

Jan Procházka from the Nové hnutí (New Movement) informed our newsroom about the demonstration, emphasizing the importance of participation from people in Moravia. Representatives such as Jiří Paroubek, Jan Kavan, and Member of Parliament Jaroslav Foldyna were among the attendees.

Foldyna briefly spoke to our newsroom, expressing his disagreement with any agreement allowing foreign forces to be stationed on Czech territory. As a member of NATO, he believes there is no need for any deal with other countries as it is unnecessary. He stated that he does not feel threatened, except by the government of Prime Minister Petr Fiala, which he believes endangers the country economically and socially.