Senate Marked “Black Thursday” In Czech History
Czech Senate ratified today the two radar treaties signed in July by Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. By doing so it openly positioned itself against the will of the majority of Czechs as polls have been showing for the last two years that most Czechs disagree with the plan.
“From the point of view of democracy in our country this is a major setback. The government-controlled senate clearly showed that it does not care about the will of the Czech people and that’s simply unacceptable,” said Jan Tamas, spokesman of the Nonviolence movement today. “I believe this day will be remembered as ‘Black Thursday’ in the history in our country.”
Although the Senate ratified the two controversial treaties, the decision is not final as the main political battle is expected to take place in the lower chamber of the Parliament. The government has tried to put this issue on its agenda on Tuesday, but failed to raise the necessary number of votes to approve the agenda. As a result the session of the lower house was ended prematurely.
The members of the Nonviolence movement are already preparing other protests that will take place during the Czech Presidency of the European Union which starts in January. Big manifestation is planned for February 24, 2009 in Brussels, when forty members of the “League of Mayors against the Radar” will attend a public hearing in the European Parliament.
Other activities are planned for as early as Monday morning, when the government will have its planned weekly meeting.
The Nonviolence Movement formed from the activity of a group of Czech humanists in December 2007. Its aims to nonviolently oppose the US missile defense base planned to be installed in the Czech Republic. The movement gained wider recognition with the hunger strike of two of its members Jan Tamas and Jan Bednar in May 2008, the following sequential hunger strike with more than 160 participants, as well as several international conferences about the topis of US Missile Defense and disarmament.