In an series of hostile and irrational actions the Czech police ended the Czechtek 2005 freetekno festival. UPDATE: one person died!
Czechtek 2005 is the 12th annual freetek party in open nature. This year’s self-organized freetekno event met unusual hostility from the Czech police. Starting the morning of Friday, 29th July, the first soundsystems and visitors gathered on a legaly rented land near the city of Milec. In the morning hours the police blocked the exits from the higway D5, causing an 8 kilometres long traffic jam. According to eyewitnesses, the police officers were trying to stop people from exiting the highway towards Milec based of their looks. Around 150 people sat on the highway requesting that they are allowed to continue their way to Milec. After 6 hours, following an ultimatum, at 13.00 the Czech police used water-guns and heavy force to clean the blocked highway. Abandoned cars were pulled away. The police continued to block the highway exits, as well as several ways around Milec.
The official police statements said that the legal contract between the owner of the land on which Czechtek 2005 should take place is invalid. The Czech Minister of Justice Frantisek Bublan of the social-democratic party CSSD, stated that the contract is invalid and that the owner of the land revoked it. Later, Friday the contract got into the media, as well as several interviews with the legal owner of the land, confirming his support for the event and the validity of the contract. Following his statement the Czech Senator Jaromír Štětina and the Czech Green Party requested that Minister Buban stops the raid against citizens of Czech republic which have not commited any crime by their gathering on a legaly rented land. Nevertheless police continued to block the area without reason.
During night several thousands of visitors managed to pass the police blockage, leaving their cars behind on the roads. The Czech police was getting reinforcements from Pilsen, coming by vans and buses. Saturday morning the free techno party was having 5000 visitors and around 300 cars that managed to get on the place. The soundsystems started to play music.
The Speaker of the Czech police stated that the visitors damaged neighbouring lands while trying to pass their blockage. The landowners filled a legal complaint against the organizers of Czechtek 2005. The citizens of Újezd pod Přimdou, a small town near the place of CT 2005 signed a petition and handed in to the main Police Commander requesting that the participants are allowed to continue their way. The streets of the city were filled up by cars and people who failed to go through the police street cordons.
The police redirected cars comming from Germany to the border in Rozvadov to other border crossings. According to police statistics 105 out of 249 foreigners were turned back on the borders on the base of “colored old cars, haircuts and tatoos”. The highway D5 was closed on both sides between 128 and 135 km.
At 16.25 the police requested that the 6000+ participants leave the gathering otherwise a police action will follow. The assault started at 16.30 supported by around thousand riot cops massively using tear gas and trying to push the visitors out from the place. The assault was answered by throwing of various object at the police cordon and people shouting “gestapo” at the policemen. According to eyewitnesses the police used water to damage the soundsystems and unconfirmed messages speak about the usage of gum projectiles and frequency jammers to disprupt the mobile networks in the area. The “shadow minister” Ivan Langer sharply criticizes the police assault saying that it’s a political decision imposed by the Prime-Minister Jiří Paroubek (CSSD). On the weblog of Czechtek a request for solidarity was posted asking people to join a demonstration in Prague at 19.00 in front of the Ministery of Justice. The police assault ended around 19.20 (before the evening news) resulting in 50 injured people both on the sides of police and the participants. The organizers of Czechtek 2005 stated that they are going to appeal to European Court for Human Rights in Strassbourg.
The second wave of police assault started around 21.00 with the goal of pushing out the remaining people. The brutal and irrational assault and police hostility are attributed to the government leading party, CSSD (social democrats), and are viewed as a residuum of Communist thinking as well as a populist attempt to get some attention before the coming elections. The so-called democracy in the Czech Republic as well as a “borderless” vision of the EU manifested itself in a xenophobic attempt to supress a manifestation of a freetekno subculture.
official page of Czechtek 2005:
Photos from the highway blockage
Idnes news timeline (czech)
Photos from the demonstration in Prague
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