Talk:Velvet Revolution

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It would be great if someone could add pictures to the article. Stancel 20:02, 19 May 2005 (UTC)

I actually have some I took myself. I never posted pics before if someone can explain how they can feel free to contact me on my talk page. Piercetp 01:50, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Hi people

OK Here are the photos....
Piercetp 09:11, 9 November 2006 (UTC)
And a big dekuji to User:Li-sung for posting my photo of the St Wenslas statue. Piercetp 02:19, 11 November 2006 (UTC)


I don't understand this sentence: "Once all are dispersed, one of the participants - secret police agent Ludvík Zifčák - keeps lying on the street, posing as dead, and is later taken away." The secret police agent was beaten by the police putting down the students? I'm confused.

I recall reading in the Prague Post something about this incident, though its been a long while and i cannot cite the exact issue. There was a story that one of the protesters was beaten to death. It was later disproved. Whether it was an undercover policeman or an agent provacatour I am not certain. I don't know if he actually played dead. All I know is that when incidents like this occur and you cannot trust the state media, lots of wild rumors will spread. Piercetp 19:55, 26 April 2006 (UTC)

Were there any real organizers of the Velvet Revolution?

No (almost certainly). The system was rotten from inside. Then anything could put it down and it did. Pavel Vozenilek 01:01, 1 Apr 2005 (UTC)

who are the people that are involved in this revolution and what were they significant for? What about Vaclav Havel, what were his major contributions other than being the president? What did he do to become president, to be liked to much? Why was this revolution so short in time? What were the original protests about to start the revolution?-- 14:16, 12 Oct 2004 (UTC)Morgan

Havel was at the right place at certain moment. His role was mostly to serve as known icon. The system imploded because of being its incompetence and stagnation. Pavel Vozenilek 18:51, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I heard on European radio last night that one of these November rallies/protests was a commemoration; it was the 50th anniversary of a protest against the Nazi occupation by medical students, in which one wound up fatally shot, some others were executed, and many were put in concentration camps... 16:37, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)


a rumour about a dead student Martin Smid was very important in that time - posssibly a secret service operation - should be mentioned

Its just rumor and even if true it wouldn't be that important, IMHO. The system was so rotten it would collapse anyway. Pavel Vozenilek 18:51, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

I think it was to do with the 20th anniversary of a student (who's name was Jan or Jana or similar) who committed suicide by setting himself on fire, as a protest. 16:56, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

No. You mean Jan Palach, it was aniversary of different event. Pavel Vozenilek 18:51, 20 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Nazi Occupation[edit]

It should be noted that the elections in 1990 were not the first since 1948, as Czechoslovakia endured, first, Nazi occupation and just after the liberation of that occupation, the Soviet Occupation began. This makes the elections the first since the Munich Pact in 1939.

Czechoslovakia was not occupied by Soviets in 1946, as their troops left the country by the end of 1945. Despite the fact that Communists won them, the elections in 1946 were democratic. -- Sandius 18:32, 24 Feb 2005 (UTC)

The article says, "with Soviet Union unable to interfere". I think "not willing to interfere" would be more appropriate: their military capability to do it may be disputed, but the lack of interest certainly not. -- Sandius 23:24, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Poll: whole paragraph or bullet list?[edit]

What do people prefere? Is the description of events in one paragraph more readable than bulleted list or opposite?

Version with bullet list: [1]

Version with one paragraph: [2]

Pavel Vozenilek 01:51, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Suggestion: include timeline[edit]

What about leaving the paragraph there (the text explains connections between events better than bulleted list) and adding a graphical timeline as an overview, such the one below? (Feel free to adjust the timeline as needed) Brona 03:27, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I agree with Brona that a paragraph text can explain connections between the events better than a timeline. Timeline is IMHO too limiting and necessarily leads to simplification. Not every simplification is wrong; but I'd say it's better to have more information on the subject than just a hollow description. And why can't we have a nicely structured paragraph text? It would be more loose and flexible.
As for the graphical timeline, it is an interesting idea. But its main advantage, I think, is in picturing parallel events or events whose relationship isn't so obvious -- e.g. displaying the fall of the European Communism in general. In this case, I don't think it's necessary. -- Sandius 10:45, 2 Mar 2005 (UTC)
If the article is supposed to remain as it is now, I would prefere a timeline. If , however, we expect that the text will be longer one day, then the timeline will be too long and will demotivate further edits...Juro 00:58, 3 Mar 2005 (UTC)
The chief problem with such a timeline is the difficulty of maintaining it collaboratively, although I think the Wikimedia software tools are being used quite impressively in this instance. --Dhartung | Talk 05:53, 4 May 2005 (UTC)


doesnt the name have anything to do with Václav Havel's favourite band being the Velvet Underground? or is that just an urban legend?

It doesn't. It is just a journalist stupidity turned popular. Pavel Vozenilek 22:16, 15 July 2005 (UTC)
I belive it is named after The Velvet Underground. Vaclav Havel, former Czech president, was inspired by The Velvet Underground's music and message, and thus the "Velvet" name. He personally thanked Lou Reed and said he would never have become president without him. "They were brought together by their resistance toward totalitarianism and their willingness to challenge the system.( …) By this I want to say that underground music in general and the record (V.H. brought home from the USA in 1968) by The Velvet Underground in particular played a major role in the history of our country."(→name)[3] (This unattributed comment was added on 04:24, April 10, 2006 by Gleeper)

Does anyone know why the recent Iranian protests have been called by conservative groups an attempted "Velvet Revolution"? I don't have the reference on me but it was reported by the BBC and I searched the term on wiki and found this article. It could just be a coincidence of translation but perhaps someone more knowledgeable might be able to shed light on any link. Bless the People. Saul Vodanovic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:40, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

Awesome. Why isn't that in the article? -- 17:46, 22 April 2007 (UTC)
The page at present says this about the origin of the name: "It is believed that the term originated from the various communist opposition groups which met in theaters such as the Magic Lantern. Velvet is a reference to velvet ropes found in all these theaters." (no citation provided). If this is spurious or simply conjecture, it requires support or revision. -- Deborahjay (talk) 15:18, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
Update: I've added a {{fact}} template indicating the need for a citation. -- Deborahjay (talk) 21:02, 23 February 2008 (UTC)

I can't find any reliable sources that confirm the name coming from Velvet Underground. Most of the sources seem to claim it was "velvet" because it was "soft" or non-violent. "----sadierw 18:39, 7 November 2017 (KST)"

According to James Krapfl, "Many names were given the revolution in the beginning, including “Joyful,” “Students’,” “Cleansing,” and “Children’s,” but “Gentle Revolution” was the most common. (In the Czech lands the name “Velvet Revolution” later achieved preeminence.)". He adds in a footnote that Jan Mĕchýř claims it was a French journalist who coined the term "Velvet Revolution", but even Krapfl notes that Mĕchýř doesn't cite this claim. [1] Zoeych (talk) 12:36, 7 November 2017 (UTC)zoeych 21:35, 7 November 2017 (KST)

Firsthand account[edit]

I happen to be a tourist on the weekend of Nov 17-19. Thankfully, I did not stumble into the demonstration on the night of the 17th. On the night of the 18th I walked downtown. I heard on the street four students had been killed. I also saw several "shrines" of candles, flowers and pictures at bloody areas on the street. It is possible that the shrines were made up to inflame the situation. However, they looked real to me. People also had photographs from the night before that they were passing around. Many showed badly beaten people.

This is remarkable. I don't tell many people because they probibly would not believe me, but I was there too. It was not true that anyone was killed during that week thought the police did beat several people. There was a rumor going around that someone was killed. About a year later I read in the Prague Post that that never happened. I do remember the candlesand seeing Czech flags everywhere and so many people in Wenceles Square. I also remember it was pretty chilly. Piercetp 08:59, 4 April 2006 (UTC)

Grammar Cleanup[edit]

I cleaned up some of the Grammar in the opening segment but there is probably more work to do. The article reads like it was written by a grade schooler or translated from another language.-- (talk) 17:39, 6 April 2008 (UTC)

Made a small edit to the page. The section said "It is not clear to what extent events were spontaneous or orchestrated by the secret police. For example, the incident with the "dead student" was staged by secret police provocateur Ludvík Zifčák and assisted by other secret agents (those who took him to hospital and initially disseminated the rumor). Zifčák is currently a chairman of the "Communist Party of Czechoslovakia", a non-parliamentary group willing to re-establish a Communist regime, with popular support below 1%, and rejects all inquiries relating to his role in the revolution."

Edited to insert the: (those who took him to THE hospital and initially disseminated the rumor)

I agree about the grammar. It needs work. Matt (talk) 05:45, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Joan Baez[edit]

The Joan Baez artcle states " In May 1989, Baez performed at a music festival in communist Czechoslovakia, called Bratislavská lýra. While there, she met future Czechoslovakian president Václav Havel, whom she let carry her guitar so as to prevent his arrest by government agents. During her performance, she greeted members of Charter 77, a dissident human-rights group, which resulted in her microphone being shut off abruptly. Baez then proceeded to sing a cappella for the nearly four thousand gathered. Havel cited her as a great inspiration and influence in that country's Velvet Revolution, the revolution in which the Soviet-dominated communist government there was overthrown "

yet there is no mention. The story is told of how the army cut the power ot the sound system and in response, the people say in unison with her. Does this match the facts? What is a factor in building or sustaining morale? G. Robert Shiplett 13:57, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Article Lead[edit]

This edit from about two weeks ago included two changes in the article lead that i can't quite feel content about:

  • moved the statement describing the strike on nov 27 before the resignations of 24th... While i'm ready to accept that chronological order can be less important than grouping related events together, i don't think this is really the case here: all three events are part of the same context, and i suggest the previous phrasing was better.
  • replaced "became the new non-Communist regime's ambassador to the United States" with "became the —ambassador to the United States". This makes some sense, so i won't argue for the reinstatement of the old phrasing, but the leftover dash looks unneeded IMO, so i suggest removing it too.

Would anyone care to comment on this analysis, and express their view on the two changes and on my suggestions about them? -- Jokes Free4Me (talk) 00:42, 10 December 2013 (UTC)


Please, see [4] (in Czech). Zifčák did not play any significant role. He was just a secret agent among students. At that day, he was relatively lightly injured and later he fell down loosing consciousness because of stress. The hoax was created later by Dražská, independently on Zifčák. Miraceti (talk) 13:30, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

I had a question about the very first part where it talks about the history of the Velvet Revolution. It says that on November 27th the citizens all went on a general strike and that on November 24th the communist government leaders resigned. But that doesn't make sense, because the way it's worded and the order of the dates makes it sound like the resignation should have happened AFTER November 27th DUE to the general strike that occured, right? Because wasn't that why the citizens all went on strike? Wasn't the resignation their end goal? And then it starts talking about something that happened on November 28th after I just wanted to ask for clarification on that.

Nadpouss (talk) 17:07, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

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Just wondering how this page can discuss the Velvet Revolution without mentioning the role of the Velvet Underground and Lour reed and the band "The Plastic People of the Universe". Reed and Havel both held each other in high regard — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:25, 13 May 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ Krapfl, Jame (2013). Revolution with a Human Face: Politics, Culture, and Community in Czechoslovakia, 1989–1992. Cornell University Press. ISBN 9780801469428.