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This Friday recognizes the Velvet Revolution and the incredible changes that came upon this country only 28 years ago. Photo: By Marc Dragul [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Prague, Nov 16 (CTK) – Hundreds of police will assist at the 24 rallies planned in Prague on the November 17 national holiday marking the anniversaries of the Nazi crackdown on Czech universities in 1939 and the outburst of the Velvet Revolution in 1989, Prague police head Milos Trojanek told media today.

The Prague police will be reinforced by their colleagues from other regions. Raid police units as well as road and criminal police will be present, Trojanek said.

He said at a meeting with the officers on duty he has emphasised that November 17 is the Day of the Struggle for Freedom and Democracy and that the police’s supervising of public peace must be done accordingly.

“We put an emphasis on problems being solved in a peaceful way,” Trojanek said, but added the police are ready to intervene if the law was seriously violated.

Information about demonstrations, rallies and road closures will be available online, he said.

Eva Novakova from the City Hall said a total of 24 events, including nine processions, have been officially announced in Prague for November 17.

Most of the rallies will be held in the Narodni street, where a clash between the communist police and student demonstrators occurred on November 17, 1989, triggering events that toppled the communist regime.

Like every year, students will mark the November 17 anniversary in the Prague-Albertov neighbourhood, a site where a student rally took place in 1989.

Earlier on Friday, a commemorative event will be held at the student dormitories in Zitna street to pay homage to student Jan Opletal, whom the Nazis shot dead during a demonstration in 1939.

University students also plan a procession with candles along Narodni street, where a plaque commemorating the start of the Velvet Revolution is situated.

Some politicians, too, will turn up at the plaque to mark the November 17, 1989 anniversary.

Apart from cultural and student events, demonstrations will also be held in Prague, organised by both rightist extremists and their opponents from among the extreme left wing.

A meeting in protest against President Milos Zeman will take place at the Hradcanske square adjacent to Prague Castle, the presidential seat.

rtj/dr/kva

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