(1989) Revolution Starts at the Heart
The People Unite
The Velvet Revolution was an interesting spectacle for Czechoslovakians and world news alike. The power that the people demonstrated over the very much accustomed and powerful government was not only extraordinary in it's effectiveness, but it's persistence in nonviolence no matter what the consequence.
Unrest Leads to Change
In 1989, an organized demonstration was held in Prague, Czechoslovakia’s capital, to honor and remember another demonstration held fifty years earlier that showed the people’s dissatisfaction with rule of the Nazi party (“Velvet Revolution,” 2016). The demonstration however, organized by students, was violently interrupted by Czech riot police after they began to speak out against the then present government and addressed the desire for an established democracy. Many students who were protesting legally were beaten by the police. The general public was outraged at this attack, and simple strikes responding to the event developed into a full scale, nationwide, nonviolent revolution. Evidently, the will of the people was strong enough against the tide of its government and neighboring communist nations. The revolution may not have been the swiftest of them all and did not avoid brutal violence from the state, but it was effective nonetheless. The unpopular president, Gustav Husak, stepped down from office, being replaced by the widely favored candidate Václav Havel, and the twisted communist government evolved into one of democracy and fair elections.
Velvet Revolution 1989
What can we learn?
The Velvet Revolution, as well as being spontaneous and effective, shows that a peaceful revolution can be achieved even when faced with police violence, and exemplifies that when the common people receive the actions of its government critically, injustices can be illuminated and addressed, leading to positive change for a nation like Czechoslovakia.