Cover image by Idnez.cz
Malcontent citizens gathered in Staromestske Namesti, the city of Prague’s main square, today at 2 PM to protest the coronavirus restrictions.
It is reported that approximately 20 individuals, policemen as well as protestors, were injured (reported by Icizinec social media channel).
According to the Icizinec’s post in Vkontakte (a Russian-language social networking site), the rally was organized by hockey and football associations across the Czech Republic. Icizinec reports that 3 600 people expressed desire to participate in the rally. However, the exact number of participants is currently unknown.
Photos from the scene show that large numbers of protestors failed to follow the hygienic safety measures, such as wearing masks or keeping safe social distance.
Icizinec reported that the rally turned into a number of detentions and clashes with the Police.
“Before the start of the rally 16 people were detained who were carrying pyrotechnics and even weapons to the rally”, Icizinic says.
Lennon Wall reporters observed the scene online through EarthCam and Skyline web cameras and remotely witnessed the following:
The rally started just before 2 PM with protesters, as well as passersby, swiftly gathering in the square. Police intervention became evident within an hour, although it is reported that the police were involved before the gathering in the square even began. Mounted and pedestrian policemen rustled with the protestors, driving them away from the scene and fully surrounding the square by 4:30 in the evening.
At around 2:14 PM first clouds of smoke started appearing over the Old Town Square, reportedly coming from miniature smoke bombs, used by protestors as a part of the rally. Noises resembling small explosions or gunshots were heard on webcams and in amateur recordings on social media, however it remains unclear specifically what they were.
Photos from the scene indicate violence on both the side of the police and the protestors. Reporters from Idnez.cz were present on the scene, direct video and photo coverage of the rally is available on their website.