Thousands of people marched in Prague yesterday, 21st January 2024, in solidarity with the Palestinian people and in peaceful protest against the Israeli war actions on Gaza, that have already caused almost thirty thousand deaths (70% of them women, children, and the elderly) and which show no signs of stopping. 

It was a national initiative, organised by the associations ‘Friends for Palestine’, ‘Not in Our Name’ and ‘Prague4PalestineYouth’.

The demonstrators met at Namesti Miru (Editor’s note: Peace Square) and in a colourful procession marched through the streets of the Bohemian capital, crossing a whitewashed Wenceslas Square to reach Republic Square.

In the past few days, the municipality of Prague had banned certain demonstrations because they were considered anti-Israeli and the Ministry of the Interior had argued that the slogan ‘from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free’ could be a criminal offence. This decision was later ruled unfounded by the court in Prague.

The Czech government has an ostentatiously pro-Israeli orientation and the recent visit to Jerusalem by President Petr Pavel, who met with his namesake Herzog and Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as senior Israeli officials, caused a stir.

Again, there were protests over what appeared to be a blatant legitimisation by the Czech government of the brutal policy pursued by Israel in recent months. The same policy that brought the Israeli state before The Hague court on charges of genocide.