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European antiwar protests gain strength as NATO’s Ukraine proxy war escalates

Europeans are storming the streets in unprecedented numbers to protest NATO’s proxy war in Ukraine and their own declining living standards. The Grayzone has covered demonstrations and interviewed protest leaders in several countries since the war erupted.
by Stavroula Pabst and Max Blumenthal
Part 4 - Czech protesters reject serving as “subcontractors to foreign capital”
In the Czech Republic, meanwhile, some 70,000 people gathered in Prague in early September for a “Czech Republic First” demonstration. There, they called for Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala’s coalition government to resign over its pro-Western and pro-NATO policies.

The country’s center-right PM Petr Fiala responded by tarring the demonstrations as pro-Russian, “extreme,” and “against the interests of the Czech Republic.” 

Fiala’s comments did little to faze Czech protestors, who returned to the streets in late September and October, and continued to organize smaller events across the country. The anti-EU and anti-NATO protests channeled the sentiment best encapsulated by a banner entitled, “The best for Ukrainians and two sweaters for us.”

To better understand the Czech Republic First demonstrations, The Grayzone spoke with Josef Skála from the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia (Komunistická strana Čech a Moravy, or KSČM). A prominent Czech Republic First supporter, Skála ran for President of the Czech Republic last year, but withdrew his candidacy in November after failing to collect enough signatures for the ballot.

Skála emphasized the Czech Republic First protests’ unique nature; while participants spanned the political spectrum, they united around their frustration with the country’s sagging economy and the government’s refusal to heed popular opposition to the Ukraine proxy war. “We have in the Czech Republic, a government which is totally Pro-American, Pro-EU, Pro-Brussels and so on,” he complained to Τhe Grayzone. “They do not care about [our] national interests.

Skála explained that inaction over high prices is ushering in an “absolutely unprecedented era of [Czech] history, which is creating the demolition of the living standards of the people and demolishing most of the sectors of our economy.

And, no, the government is doing nothing against [these problems]. The government is assisting such dramatic policies…We are subtractors of foreign capital.

Skála’s comments highlight an issue looming behind the proxy war: while today’s European protest demands focus on the current energy crisis, many demonstrators are infuriated by their governments’ willingness to prioritize EU dictates over the national interest.

As protests continue, Skála hopes he can bring more from the left to the demonstrations by emphasizing the Ukraine proxy war’s threat to the economy and to human survival. “The danger of war… is imminent,” he explained to The Grayzone. “And what is missing is an urgent and well-organized anti-war peace movement.


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