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Czechs Stage Massive Anti-Austerity Rally

Common Dreams staff

Protesters march during a demonstration by the Czech Trade Union, who are opposing the Czech government's reforms in Prague April 21, 2012. The banner reads, "Stop the government". (REUTERS/David W Cerny)

As many as 100,000 Czechs have been protesting today in Prague against the government's austerity measures.

Union leader Jaroslav Zavadil said the cabinet was "humiliating the powerless with its anti-social reforms."

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BBC News: Czechs stage huge anti-government rally in Prague

Anti-government demonstrators in the Czech Republic have staged what they describe as the biggest rally since the fall of communism in 1989.

They say 120,000 people packed the capital Prague, protesting against austerity measures and corruption. Police put the numbers at 90,000.

Echoing 1989, people jangled their keys - a signal to the centre-right coalition cabinet to lock up and leave.

The government has recently been rocked by splits and defections.

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Agence France-Presse: Tens of thousands rally against Czech government

PRAGUE — Tens of thousands of protesters gathered for an anti-government rally in Prague's central Wenceslas Square on Saturday as the centre-right ruling coalition was teetering on the verge of collapse.

Unions, pensioners, student associations and others angered by austerity cuts and graft scandals teamed up for what they said would be the biggest protest yet against the cabinet of right-wing leader Petr Necas.

"The police estimate about 80-90,000 people are in Wenceslas Square right now," Prague police spokeswoman Eva Kropacova told AFP.

Union leader Jaroslav Zavadil put the number of protesters at 120,000 before lambasting the cabinet for "humiliating the powerless with its anti-social reforms."

"They promised budgetary responsibility but instead the government debt is growing. They promised to fight graft but corruption has gripped their parties and the entire society," he told the crowd.

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