Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Velvet Revolution

The "Velvet Revolution" refers to a comparatively bloodless revolution in Czechoslovakia that saw the overthrow of the communist government there. It started on November 17, 1989 when a peaceful student demonstration in Prague was severely beaten back by the communist riot police. That event sparked a popular uprising that prompted people to take to the streets. By November 20 the number of peaceful protestors assembled in Prague swelled from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million. Then with other communist regimes falling all around it, and with growing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced on November 28 they would give up their monopoly on political power. Democratic elections held on December 29, 1989 brought the first non-communist government to Czechoslovakia in more than 40 years.