• Short Summary

    THOUSANDS OF CZECHS FILLED THE STREETS OF PRAGUE ON THURSDAY (21 AUGUST) IN PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS TO MARK THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARSAW PACT INTERVENTION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA.

  • Description

    THOUSANDS OF CZECHS FILLED THE STREETS OF PRAGUE ON THURSDAY (21 AUGUST) IN PROTEST DEMONSTRATIONS TO MARK THE FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE WARSAW PACT INTERVENTION IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA. AS ON PREVIOUS OCCASIONS THE FOCAL POINT OF THEIR PROTEST WAS THE STATUE IN WENCESLAS SQUARE. MANY PLACED FLOWERS ON THE STATUE.

    OFFICIAL SOURCES SAID THERE WERE FIVE DEATHS (TWO IN PRAGUE, THREE IN BRNO) AND NEARLY 1,400 PEOPLE WERE ARRESTED.

    IN PRAGUE THERE HAD BEEN DEMONSTRATIONS THE PREVIOUS DAY, AND ON THE ANNIVERSARY ITSELF A CROWD ESTIMATED AT 15,000 BURST INTO WENCESLAS SQUARE -- THE SCENE OF MUCH OF THE POPULAR PROTEST AT THE TIME OF THE INTERVENTION -- SHOUTING "RUSSIANS GO HOME" AND "GESTAPO, GESTAPO".

    A FIVE MINUTE TRAFFIC STOPPAGE JAMMED THE STREETS, AND THE AIR WAS FILLED WITH THE CONTINUOUS BLAST OF MOTOR HORNS.

    PEDESTRIANS STAMPED AND CLAPPED IN TIME TO THE HORNS. EARLIER MANY CITIZENS HAD HEEDED THE CALL OF WIDELY-CIRCULATED LEAFLETS THAT THEY SHOULD WALK TO WORK AS A SIGN OF PROTEST.

    THOUGH OVER 70,000 WARSAW PACI TROOPS ARE ESTIMATED TO BE STATIONED IN CZECHOSLOVAKIA, THEY WERE NOT BROUGHT IN TO THE TROUBLED AREAS. BUT THE CZECH GOVERNMENT CALLED ABOUT 60 CZECH ARMY TANKS INTO THE CAPITAL, TOGETHER WITH TRUCKLOADS OF STEEL-HELMETED TROOPS.

    ARMY UNITS WERE STATIONED ROUND PRAGUE RADIO BUILDING, WHILE RIOT POLICE AND TROOPS USED TEAR GAS TO DISPERSE DEMONSTRATORS IN WENCESLAS SQUARE. SOME DEMONSTRATORS THREW BACK THE TEAR GAS GRENADES AND SCUFFLED WITH POLICE AND SOLDIERS.

    A CIRCLING ARMY HELICOPTER LOCATED POCKETS OF DEMONSTRATORS BUT ITS PRESENCE ALSO WARNED DEMONSTRATORS WHERE THE NEXT BARRAGE OF GAS GRENADES, WATER CANNON AND BATON CHARGES WOULD STRIKE.

    TANKS WERE USED TO CRUSH STREETS BARRICADES, AND ARMOURED TROOP CARRIERS, BEARING THE FRESHLY-PAINTED WORDS "PUBLIC SECURITY", PATROLLED THE STREETS.

    THE TANKS WERE LATER WITHDRAWN FROM PRAGUE. YESTERDAY (23 AUGUST) THE CZECHOSLOVAK GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCED IMMEDIATE EMERGENCY LAWS INCREASING SENTENCES BY 50 PER CENT FOR DISTURBING THE PEACE, OR FOR DEFAMING THE REPUBLIC, ITS SERVANTS OR THE SOCIALIST SYSTEM.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA4CC7AGX84B36DN20OH9L9BTJQ
    Media URN:
    VLVA4CC7AGX84B36DN20OH9L9BTJQ
    Group:
    Reuters - Including Visnews
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    24/08/1969
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Black & White
    Duration:
    00:03:11:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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