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Document Creation Date: 
November 26, 2019
Document Release Date: 
December 10, 2019
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Publication Date: 
August 16, 1989
Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826755 fr I If II I -71 LI U CZECHOSLOVAKIA: Anniversary May Provoke Confrontations Czechoslovak authorities and dissidents are expecting major confrontations at demonstrations on Monday to mark the anniversary of the 1968 Soviet invasion. large demonstrations are expected in Prague and other major cities in Czechoslovakia six dissident groups plan peaceful marches in cities throughout Czechoslovakia, but prominent activists believe the risk of violence is high. They fear that the regime will try to provoke violent confrontations and that some young demonstrators are prepared to risk death. Comment: Demonstrations are likely to take place in Prague and also may occur in cities in Bohemia and Moravia. The demonstrations will probably be smaller than the authorities fear, but the regime's intense condemnation of the opposition in recent weeks nonetheless show its increasing doubt that it can continue to control the populace. If it uses violence to suppress peaceful demonstrations, the regime risks losing more support from the party rank and file, accelerating the erosion of its authority among the populace, and isolating itself further from reformist Bloc countries, including the USSR Dissidents probably see the rallies as a chance to enhance their prestige and to support their claim of growing popular support. They run the risk of losing momentum if the demonstrations are poorly attended in Pra le and elsewhere. 2 TCS 2890/89 16 August 1989 6.2(d) 6.2(d) 3.3(b)(1) 3.3(b)(1) 6.2(d) 3.3(b)(1) 6.2(d) 3.3(b)(1) 6.2(d) 6.2(d) Approved for Release: 2019/10/29 C06826755