Czech Republic

In the last period, the Czech Republic seemed to be a relatively politically stable country in the eyes of the global ruling class; with sufficient economic growth, very low unemployment, and even rising wages. This relative stability, sustained mainly by strong German investments, propped up the support for oligarch prime minister and second-richest Czech, Andrej Babiš, and his Berlusconi-style party ANO 2011. But things have changed, and the masses are moving.

The solidarity campaign for Rawal Asad (who has been held in custody since February on the scandalous charge of sedition after attending a peaceful protest in Multan, Pakistan) shows no sign of slowing down. On 4 March, comrades and supporters of the International Marxist Tendency coordinated a day of pressure against the Pakistani state by picketing, protesting and telephoning Pakistan's embassies all over the world, so the regime knows the world is watching, and we will not stop until our comrade is released. 

Prague 1968

The Prague Spring was a movement with the potential to develop into a socialist political revolution against the Communist Party (CP) bureaucracy, possibly with far-reaching consequences. For this reason, over the last half century, the Prague Spring has been slandered by Stalinists, co-opted by liberals, and distorted by both.

Several demonstrations were planned in Prague on February 6th. All of these demonstrations had a common theme – the refugee crisis. However, only two of these demonstrations were anti-fascist. The rest were organised by xenophobes and fascists.

The 17th of November 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of what’s known as the "Velvet Revolution" in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. To many it has positive connotations. The capitalist press hailed it as the end of a tyranny and the beginning of freedom and superficially this may seem like the general consensus. However a STEM agency poll in 2013 showed that 33% of Czechs still prefer the old regime to the new. 

With the increasing draconian austerity measures being imposed on the Czech masses combined with plentiful kicks in the form of corruption and embezzlement scandals within all layers of the ruling class and the state, this weekend’s elections were an important event.

The current Czech political crisis erupted on 13th June 2013 when the Unit for Combating Organised Crime and the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office (from Olomouc) raided the cabinet building and several ministries of the Czech Republic along with several offices of politicians and entrepreneurs. The next day, the police confiscated gold and money from these people that they had in a bank in Wenceslas Square.

With the turbulence and discontent in the political landscape over the past year the presidential elections held in January were an important way for the Czech people to express their mood. Although the president has more powers than presidents in neighbouring European countries, it still remains a largely symbolic role with the majority of decisions being left to the parliament and the Prime Minister. It would be fair to say that the Czech President has a relatively large amount of choice in how much power and responsibility he or she wants to take in the running of the country. However, the President does hold some significant powers such as the allocation of bank officials and

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Like other Eastern European countries, the Czech Republic had the illusion that with the opening of the market in 1989 and entering into the EU it would eventually be able to enjoy living standards matching the countries of Western Europe. These illusions have been shaken in the last few years. The consequences of this have been shown in the recent period and will inevitably continue to express themselves.

The period of illusions in the “market economy” in the Czech Republic is coming to an end. The realisation that struggle is the only road to defend their interests is seeping into the consciousness of Czech workers. Marxism has a role to play in this process. The new bourgeois elite is trying to stop the activities of the Czech communists, in particular of the Czech Young Communists. These young comrades need the help of workers and youth around the world.

The Czech Ministry of the Interior recently banned the KSM (Communist Youth Union) simply because it "strives for revolutionary overcoming of capitalism and... removal of private ownership of the means of production and its replacement with collective ownership." Here we provide a letter from the Czech Young Communists, explaining the latest developments.

We are publishing an appeal issued by the Czech Communist Youth Union (KSM) after the government recently banned their organisation. We ask you to support their struggle for the basic right to exist as an organisation. Send letters of protest and make the Czech Young Communists know that workers and youth around the world support them.

The demonstrations in Seattle, Washington, London and Prague are an indication that something is changing. For the past twenty years, Capital has been on the offensive. On its banners are inscribed the new slogans: Liberalisation, Globalisation, Downsizing, Outsourcing, Flexibilisation, and a host of other reactionary neologisms. The fall of the Soviet Union gave a further impulse to this offensive. The bourgeoisie was filled with confidence and optimism in the future. But now, a decade after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the whole thing is beginning to come apart at the seams.