Techno fans laugh off PM's "dangerous" label as CzechTek furore continues
The fallout continues from Saturday's crackdown on the CzechTek party in West Bohemia, in which 1,000 riot police dispersed thousands of techno fans with tear gas and water cannon. While politicians argue over the justification for using force, the event is now being discussed up and down the country.
"Well it was quite unbelievable. I couldn't believe my eyes. Hundreds of riot police, a police helicopter, water cannon, even a tank was stationed on the road. But the people were just dancing to the music, they were not doing anything bad. It was like a scene from virtual reality, or maybe from a country in Asia or Africa. It was simply unbelievable."
"That's nonsense. I'm not a dancing kid. I'm 29 years old and I pay taxes. I'm a father and the head of a family. I think I'm a very peaceful person and I just wanted to come and enjoy dancing. It's nonsense to say these people are dangerous."
And that's something echoed by one of CzechTek's organisers, who goes under the pseudonym Netdave.
A lightning opinion poll commissioned by the daily newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes found that 70 percent of Czechs believed the police were too heavy-handed, although 44 percent said the authorities had to do something. So what do the people of Prague think? We went out onto the streets to hear some views.
"I think it was completely unnecessary waste of tax payers' money. In the end, police is short on recourses and this is some 300 000 Euro spent on nothing."
"I think the intervention was legitimate. They urged them to leave the field at least twice, as I saw on TV. It's hard to say which part of the field is rented and which is not but if the organizers have thousands of people at the techno-party and they are not able to ensure that they don't go to other people's property, the police are entitled to intervene."
"Well, I don't have anything against police but in this case I would prefer a little bit more gentle approach."