Freedom not Fear Prague: Do It Yourself Carnival burst in the city center

By EDRi · October 22, 2008

(Dieser Artikel ist auch in deutscher Sprache verfügbar)

On 11 October 2008 Prague hosted the DIY Carnival which marched through the
city centre in the name of the worldwide initiative “Freedom not Fear”.

Starting with a concert of several music groups on the river island
Stvanice, more than 1000 people wearing masks outnumbered crowds of tourists
on the fancy streets of the Old Town and protested against increasing
surveillance within the society. The colourful parade ended up at sunset,
but some of the participants reunited later that night on the occasion of
Big Brother Awards benefit concert which was organized by EDRi member
Iuridicum Remedium.

“The recent level of restrictions which criminalize majority of our society
is alarming. It is another step towards state where police is competent to
arbitrary bully people on the streets,” said Jan Nemec, the spokesman of the
Freedom not Fear initiative in Prague, in his public speech. “Let your
voices be heard and express your resolute protest against these oppressive
measures,” called Jan Nemec on the participants.

However, the organization of the DIY Carnival did not go that smoothly as
might be observed from its results. The parade had to take an alternative
route, because the municipal authorities banned the original one on the
bases of their fear that the carnival could turn into a street party.

Subsequently, the organizers have lodged an appeal with the court that was
later dismissed. The final decision is still pending, though. “The hearing
on the ban took place on Friday, just one day after we received an email
notification, while the rules of the administrative court grant at least ten
days for preparation,” commented the first instance decision Helena
Svatosová, lawyer from the NGO Iuridicum Remedium, who initiated proceedings
in this matter before the Highest Administrative Court.

The official FnF Prague website (only in Czech)

Iuridicum Remedium report(only in Czech)

Press coverage by the Czech TV (only in Czech)

Press coverage by cultural review A2 kulturní týdeník (only in Czech)

Pictures from the event(only in Czech)

(contribution by Vaclav Mlynarik – EDRi-member Iuridicum Remedium)