Text of Dubcek’s Speech to 300,000 People in Prague With AM-Czechoslovakia, Bjt
PRAGUE, Czechoslovakia (AP) _ Following, as translated from Slovak by The Associated Press, are excerpts of Alexander Dubcek’s speech to 300,000 people on Wenceslas Square Friday. He refers to the two nations of Czechoslovakia, a country formed by Czech lands and Slovakia:
Dear popular meeting. My dear residents of Prague, I love you, you know that, but I will tell you just the same. I am happy to be with you.
Again, after a longer time, I appear before you and thus before all our people who once again raised their voices for a renewal of society, a renewal of our unbreakable community, of our nations, which are so close and related by blood. This mutual bond is also today a pillar of the present democratic renewal, our inseparable and indivisible Fatherland of our two nations, Czechoslovakia.
Yesterday, at the square in Bratislava, a crowd of more than 100,000 people met in the spirit of solidarity, of popular civic initiative which unites us in this historic elation. We all know that the present state of crisis in the country was caused by violent military intervention in the affairs and life which have belonged to the people of this country only. For this reason, departure from this unhappy legacy and from the whole so-called policy of normalization and its birth, is unconditional and brooks no delay.
This is clearly expressed by the attitudes of all civic movements, of former Communist Party members who have been expelled, of youth, artists’ and cultural movements, yesterday in Bratislava and today again here.
I see this movement has found support in the working class, among peasants, in all strata of the working people.
The broad and complex stream of today’s great movement should converge into a joint stream which will once again elevate the initiative of the people, our country to a place it rightly has in Europe.
Today, the new Civic Forum is being formed, with the platform of a new socialist renewal. I declare that I stand by this platform and give it my voice before the citizens of Prague and all working people.
People of Prague, in unity with all the people, played an important part in the renewal of socialism 21 years ago.
I say this because the working class, People’s Militias ... with the sympathies of our army and police stood side-by-side. I say this, that today, too, these forces should stand on the side of the people. Do not act against the people, you are a part of it, remember you are from the people.
The ideal of socialism with a human face is living in the minds of a new generation.
Don’t give way to extremist trends, so that the people’s movement can be crowned with success and reflect the cultural level of this nation.
An old, wise man said, ‘If once there was light, why should there be darkness again?’ We had lived in darkness for too long. Let us act in such a way to bring the light back again.