Activists shine pro-Tibet message on Castle
Raymond Johnston, Prague Post | March 30, 2016
An unidentified group spelled out words critical of Chinese visit
Words in light were projected on the side of Prague Castle on Tuesday night and Wednesday morning during the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The letters spelled out “Free Tibet,” “Truth and Love” “CZ for sale” and “a president for sale.”
The people behind the display said in an email they believed in the slogans of former Czech president Václav Havel, who was friend’s with Tibet’s Dalai Lama and who was a critic of human rights abuses in China.
Havel favored liberation for Tibet and Taiwan.
Photos turned up on the Facebook page of former Green politician Kateřina Bursíková Jacques and were sent anonymously to news agencies. Kateřina Bursikova Jacques is the wife of Martin Bursik, a former environment minister who was also active in pro-Tibet events during the visit.
Police were unable to locate the projector but narrowed the area down to Malá Strana. Police spokeswoman Andrea Zoulová said the projection does not appear to have violated the law and there was no sign of trespassing in the closed zone around the Castle.
This is not the first time that Havel has been remembered visibly on Prague Castle. A neon heart resembling his signature was there in 2002. That event was authorized.
President Xi Jinping was on a three-day visit to the Czech Republic, but police and organizers of the visit made efforts to keep any protests out of sight of the Chinese.delegation.
A rally that had been planned for Hradčanské náměstí at 5 p.m. on Tuesday but police blocked all access to the area and the marchers instead went to a nearby park, far from the view of the Castle.
Before President Xi Jinping arrived on Monday, vandals targeted Chinese flags on flagpoles with blue paint along the streets that the president’s motorcade would pass.
The flags were cleaned and replaced before Xi Jinping saw them.
Another group tried to replace the flags with Tibetan ones. This led to 12 arrests.
Police also reportedly made someone remove a Tibetan flag from his window as it allegedly posed a security risk. The flag was in view of the Hilton Hotel, where the Chinese delegation was staying.