Google Doodle is celebrating Czech Republic Freedom and Democracy Day 2023 on Friday, November 17. Thousands of people joined Czechoslovakian students to protest against the Nazi occupation of their country in 1939.
A memorial march against communism led by students fifty years later gave the Czech people even more reasons to cherish this day.
It sparked the Velvet Revolution, a wave of demonstrations that spread throughout Czechoslovakia and signaled the beginning of the country's democratic transition. Due to their crucial contribution to the attainment of freedom, this date is also recognized as International Students Day.
People across the nation will wear the blue, white, and red colors of the country and wave flags similar to the ones in today's Doodle.
Some people go to patriotic concerts like the Concert for the Future and lectures about the meaning of freedom. They are lining up at memorials honoring those who fought for government reform, placing wreaths or lighting candles as a show of support for those nonviolent protestors.
Meanwhile, Google Doodle is also celebrating Slovakia Freedom and Democracy Day today. Every year, Slovakians all over the world remember the turning points that led to their independence.
A series of non-violent protests organized by Czechoslovakian students in November 1939 was one of these pivotal moments. Thousands came together to call for their liberation from Nazi rule.
Despite their initial failure, the protests served as a catalyst for the "Gentle Revolution" fifty years later. The second round of nonviolent protests was organized by students and artists and took place in Bratislava and Prague.
Their acts of civil disobedience on this day in 1989 compelled the autocratic government to consent to a nonviolent handover to democracy.
To commemorate this historic occasion, thousands of people jingled their keys—a symbolic act of opening democracy that activists continue to use in protests today. This day serves as a potent reminder to many that civil disobedience can result in amazing change.
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