I’ve sent following mail to Boing Boing, of all the places (result – not worthy), and I’m going to prepare some more info in English tomorrow (hopefully). You’re allowed to post this text, and anything I’m gonna write about Czechtek in the future, wherever you want. By the way, you have to see the end of this video.
I think this might be of interest to you and your readers. In a galaxy far, far away, the country of Czech Republic (the capital is Prague, rings a bell?), there was once an annual event, which started as a teknival in the nineties, and evolved into a free multicultural event with as much as 40,000 visitors. In last years, Czechtek attracted more and more interest from the media, and more and more interest from the police. Since it is a DIY thing, people usually found some remote meadow and brought in the soundsystems, and spent a weekend in open air with different music styles playing on tens of systems. Since French and English people have trouble organizing free parties in their homelands, they were coming here to visit and perform. Last year, the event was held on a rented place, but there was trouble with the agreement and police halted the party after two days (I believe). That was ok – what happened now is that they said a week in advance, that they are gonna stop Czechtek no matter what, and they held the promise. I suggest following links for more details, but to make it short, the event was legal, on a rented place, and police stopped it using false arguments and lies on Saturday in a very, very brutal way. Tear gas, water cannons, smoke grenades and about a thousand of riot cops swept across the meadow, brutally hitting people, breaking windows of cars and throwing tear gas into them, etc. – see the videos and pictures for yourselves. They simply made a raid to stop an event which was legal, and their main “argument” was that they have to stop anything illegal. The problem was there was nothing illegal (yet, as they didn’t allow it to happen – guilty until proven innocent?)At first public was on their side, but they stepped on toes of too many people and really underestimated both the situation and the power of the people they’re fucking with. On Sunday, the day after they’ve stopped the party, there was a peaceful demonstration of several thousand people, marching through Prague. Everyone was afraid that it is gonna end silently and nothing is going to happen or change, so they came – even older people, who remember the velvet revolution against communism in 1989, and who were scared by the very similar approach of the police and government, and parents of people who went to Czechtek, who were scared to death when they saw what is happeningat the place their kids are on Saturday (there’s even a casualty, said by the police to be hit by a truck on a highway, which was next to the place, but there are witnesses who saw police cars running into groups of people, and who saw that a guy was run over – after so many lies, noone who saw what happened can really trust that the police didn’t simply put the guy on the highway and blame it on a truck – they didn’t find the truck which supposedly did it).
On Sunday, it was said – tomorrow, here, again, something has to happen. But we didn’t actually believe anyone would come again, after a day at work. But people did, there was even more of them – more angry parents, more political activists, more tekno travelers, the demonstration today was really big and more powerful than yesterday, and it ended with a truck of some italian sound system coming in front the building of ministry, and starting to play tekno. We were afraid this is going to put things in wrong perspective, but after a while, everything shifted a few hundred meters to a huge park and open space of Letna, and the soundsystem kept playing for at least two thousand people until about 9:30 pm. Then it stopped in order not to create bad public opinion, and as we were leaving, everything was quite orderly and people were going home.
But the event. You cannot imagine the atmosphere, the power in the air, both in the warzone of the Czechtek meadow and now on the after-demonstration party. A week ago, we were making jokes that it would be funny to do Czechtek on Letna, everyone would have it really close and so on, and now it really happened. So many people, who would never come to listen to tekno came, danced, had an incredible amount of fun, and made almost no problems. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, people were united by the idea of being right to fight the approach of the police and so on. There will be next demonstration on Wednesday. Well, this is it in short, as I said, you’ll find more info on the links under. Remember please, that some of the info is old and the information the police gave was proven as false even by mainstream media here.
Pictures – http://czechtek2005.freetekno.cz/
Videos – http://g4.freetekno.cz/divx/czechtek2005_p1040648.avi
http://g4.avu.cz/czechtek2005/ / http://g4.freetekno.cz/
Info – http://www.indymedia.org/en/2005/07/118313.shtml
http://news.google.com/news?q=czechtek – not much actual info in English yet, but as I’m free of work tomorrow, I’ll probably write some more, since most people here, while they do speak English, don’t have the patience/skills to actually write something longer. I hope you’ll find this worthy of attention, in todays world full of supposed
terrorists and unseen threats, and big thanks if you decide to publish something about it. There’s by far not enough foreign support.
Have a good time today and – hey, nice thing you have going-going :)
More info about Czechtek. I’m too busy to write anything of my own, although I’d like to. At least I’ve got both my short videos (shot by photocamera) and pictures online – movs of Czechtek itself, and following demonstration in Prague, and pics from Czechtek and the demonstration.