Czechs organize for life under occupation; marchers protest


PRAGUE, Aug. 28, 1968 (UPI) -- About 3,000 students marched in the heart of Prague today behind a banner reading "No Compromise for Treason." But the Czechoslovak Government began organizing for life under Soviet Bloc occupation.

In another defiant move, the Czechoslovak radio compared the agreement "dictated" in Moscow with the 1938 Munich Pact which sold out the country to Nazi Germany.


The students mustered in Wenceslas Square where only a last-minute plea for calm by a National Assembly deputy prevented a confrontation last night between Russian submachine gunners and 5,000 Czechoslovaks demonstrating against the nine-day-old occupation.

Behind their banner the students today paraded out of the square, into which possibly nervous Russian forces had moved armored cars and infantry during the night.

In the streets last night, a crowd of 5,000 threatened rebellion against acceptance of the Czechoslovak-Soviet agreement, the details of which are undisclosed.

They ripped down Dubcek posters and shouted "A second Munich! We want the full truth!" they chanted.

The crowd surged in Wenceslas Square. Soviet armor and machine gunners rushed in. They had left the square at dawn when Communist Party chief Alexander Dubcek returned from Soviet captivity and the Moscow talks. Now they threatened to put down the crowd with bullets.


A member of the National Assembly raced from the Parliament Building and calmed the crowd. He told them the Parliament would reject acceptance of the agreement allowing Soviet occupation. The crowd jostled a bit, but went home.

The radio broadcast comparing the agreement with the Russians to the one with the Nazis called on Czechoslovaks to refuse to submit to Russian demands. However, it also asked the nation to support Dubcek and President Ludvik Svoboda because "there is no other way out."

It also said Czech Nazi Konrad Henlein and his followers dealt with Nazi Germany "at least semi-voluntarily" in an unoccupied state in which parliament and the government still held full constitutional rights. There was nothing voluntary about the recent "negotiations" in Moscow, it added.

In another broadcast today, the four top Czechoslovak leaders said they shared and understood the feeling of their people, but warned them not to be swept away by their emotions because "it would mean national catastrophe."

A third broadcast said the National Assembly had condemned the Russian occupation as illegal.

The government announced a commission was being named to spell out the steps "to be taken for implementing the accords reached in Moscow."

The cabinet was to discuss "curtailment of freedom of communications," Radio Prague said. One Soviet goal is to snuff out the freedom of the press allowed by the eight-month-old reform regime.


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