Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Czech Protest Department

Hanged-Man Figures Strung Up in Czech Cities Warn Against Dangers of Communist Party

A group calling itself Dekomunizace (Decommunization) strung hanged-man figures up on poles, bridges, and public buildings in cities around the Czech Republic Monday night to publicize the Communist Party's abuses in the past and warn against what might happen if it returns to power.

Czech voters go to the polls on Friday and Saturday, in early elections called as the result of a corruption scandal, and public opinion surveys show the Communists likely to take second or third place, which would give them posts in government.

The black figures were strung up with red-colored nooses in Hradec Králové, Jihlava, Tábor, and Prague. The inscription on their torso reads "Went against the KSČ(M)." [Photo gallery]

Protest figures hang above a campaign poster for the Communist Party that reads "With the people, for the people." Photo: František Vlček, MAFRA

Though swept from power in the Velvet Revolution of 1989, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (KSČ) and its successor, the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (KSČM), remained a legal political party with members in Parliament, and never distanced itself from the crimes and human rights abuses it committed during its 41 years in power. 

Governments in other states of the former Soviet bloc banned the Communist Party after 1989. 

In another protest action, artist David Černý, long known for his provocative work, installed a floating middle finger aimed at Prague Castle on the Vltava river on Monday.