Download Civic Freedom in Central Europe: Voices from Czechoslovakia by H.Gordon Skilling PDF

By H.Gordon Skilling

Recording the perspectives of dissidents at the nature in their personal actions, this e-book includes over 20 brief essays via a couple of major humans from constitution seventy seven. members comprise Vaclav Havel, Eva Kanturkova, Libuse Silhanova, and Zdenek Rotrekl.

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Sample text

18. 19. 20. means community or partnership. Both words are usually rendered in English as 'community'. The term, however, should be distinguished from spolecnost, which refers to society in a broader sense. In the following essays, the words spolecnost (society) and spolecensvti (community) are often used interchangeably. The term 'structures' were often used to refer not only to official party and government institutions but also to the less organised forms of independent activity. For further discussion see Skilling, Charter 77 and Human Rights in Czechoslovakia (1981), pp.

This peaceful and orderly gathering, like those earlier in the year, was brutally broken up by the security police. This produced a series of mass rallies, each over 200 000 strong, in Prague, Brno, and Bratislava in protest over police violence. In two of these, in Bratislava on 22 November and Prague on 23 November, Alexander Dubcek, the personification of the Prague Spring, was present and together with Vaclav Havel, received tumultaneous ovations. On 19 November Cardinal Tomasek called on all citizens to join in the struggle for freedom.

At the same time they were still far from having 'even a slightly normal political culture'. A real public life does not exist . . nor a 'general ... experience of civic freedom'. The outcome depended not so much on new declarations or demonstrations as in 'patient and daily work, in the spirit of Masaryk, so as to cultivate and spread the taste for discussion, the foundation of every democracy, and thus to till the soil for civic life ... We would thus prepare ourselves as much as possible, both in the sphere of concrete plans, and in the creation of a general civic consciousness, without which even the most respectable project would have no hope of success'.

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