Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Czechtek concert goers brutalized by police

The phrase going to hell in a handbasket springs to mind. Here's yet another brutual police action against concert goers in the Czech Republic - this one carried out over two days.

Czechtek is an open-air international and multicultural music festival with 12 year tradition. Not only different genres of music, but also videoart and other art performances take place on this unique event of free culture.

In all history of festival there were no significant damages or problems, participants while leaving clean the land and take responsibility for their action.

Contract with the owner of grass plain was clearly shown to police. There is no indicaion that festival was in any way illegal, every aspect was according to law of Czech Republic.
Police blocked the roads leading into the event and coerced neighbors of the property to sign complaints.
Most of the people did not hear any appeal to leave the place, many of them had drunk alcohol-containing beverages and could not go away with cars, many of them believed that by taking part on legally organized festival they cannot be targeted by police.

The first police action on saturday 30, 16:30PM took several hours and was badly coordinated. On the place was 1000 policemen, water cannon, armoured tank and low-flying helicopter.

The second night attack at 22PM was led with extreme brutality. Police in heavy suits without identifying numbers refused to give identifying information, information about their command and information about first aid location. Police used massive amounts of tear gas and desorientation grenades, in many cases they threw tear gas granade into a car and did not let people inside for long time get out, in other cases they broke car windows by iron bars, threw grenade in and forced people to get out.

All people were beaten up, including teenage girls, which cried in pain. Witnesses described attack on lone staing girl, who was pulled down by her hair and kicked on the ground by four policemen.

There were hundreds of injuries, including cuts, bruises, burnings, broken arms, shock. Many people were in shock still the next day afternoon with red faces from tear gas.
The police then sent all these disoriented kids onto the road and opened the highway to traffic again, resulting in a fleet of delayed trucks, I assume semis, barreling down the road. One concert goer was killed.

I would say thank God we live in America, but considering how similiar this is to the Utah rave, all I can say is God help us all.

[hat tip to JackL]


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