"Non-violence is not inaction. It is not discussion. It is not for the timid or weak... Non-violence is hard work. It is the willingness to sacrifice. It is the patience to win."
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The "Velvet Revolution" (Czech: sametová revoluce, Slovak: nežná revolúcia) (November 16 - December 29, 1989) refers to a bloodless revolution in Czechoslovakia that saw the overthrow of the communist government there.
It started on November 16, 1989 with a peaceful student demonstration in Bratislava. One day later, on November 17, 1989, another peaceful student demonstration in Prague was severely beaten back by the communist riot police. That event sparked a set of popular demonstrations from November 19 to late December, and a general two-hour strike of the population on November 27. By November 20 the number of peaceful protestors assembled in Prague had swelled from 200,000 the day before to an estimated half-million.
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. Barbed wire was removed from the border with West Germany and Austria on December 5. On December 10, the Communist President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned. Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the federal parliament on December 28 and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on December 29 1989.
As one of the results of the Velvet Revolution, the first democratic elections since 1946 were held in June, 1990, and brought the first completely non-communist government to Czechoslovakia in over forty years.