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WORLD BRIEFING / CZECH REPUBLIC

Thousands mark 1989 protest anniversary

November 18, 2009|Times Wire Reports

Thousands marched through the Czech capital in commemoration of a student protest 20 years ago that grew into the human tidal wave that helped sweep away the communist regime in what was then Czechoslovakia.

Vaclav Havel, a dissident playwright who had spent several years in prison before he was elected the country's first democratic president, President Vaclav Klaus and Prime Minister Jan Fischer joined hundreds of people placing flowers and lighting candles at a monument marking the site of the brutal clash.

"The demonstration, the march set the history into motion," said Havel, who was applauded by the surrounding crowd.

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