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Czechs Give President The Red Card

Thousands of Czechs held symbolic red cards in the air on November 17, in a protest against President Milos Zeman. The gathering came on the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, the peaceful overthrow of Czechoslovakia's communist regime in 1989. Protesters are angry with what they regards as Zeman's pro-Russian stance on European Union sanctions on Russia, his criticism of the Russian punk group Pussy Riot who were jailed for denouncing Vladimir Putin in a Moscow cathedral, as well as his use of vulgar language during a recent radio interview.

Demonstrators show symbolic red cards to Czech President Milos Zeman during a protest rally in Prague on November 17.
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Demonstrators show symbolic red cards to Czech President Milos Zeman during a protest rally in Prague on November 17.

The protesters accuse Zeman of cozying up to Russia. Their protest comes as Zeman hosts four Central European presidents at events marking the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.
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The protesters accuse Zeman of cozying up to Russia. Their protest comes as Zeman hosts four Central European presidents at events marking the 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution.

A view in a traffic mirror shows the size of the crowd, who gathered on Narodni trida (National Street), the central boulevard that was the site of the anticommunist protest that sparked the 1989 revolution.
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A view in a traffic mirror shows the size of the crowd, who gathered on Narodni trida (National Street), the central boulevard that was the site of the anticommunist protest that sparked the 1989 revolution.

A small child also held aloft a homemade red card, as some protesters said it was time for Zeman to step down. Zeman was elected in 2013 to a four-year term.
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A small child also held aloft a homemade red card, as some protesters said it was time for Zeman to step down. Zeman was elected in 2013 to a four-year term.

Shop assistants joined the protest from windows overlooking the street.
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Shop assistants joined the protest from windows overlooking the street.

As the Zeman protests took place, others lit candles at the Velvet Revolution memorial. No one was killed in the revolution -- the candles are to commemorate the people killed and imprisoned during the Communist Party's 41-year rule.
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As the Zeman protests took place, others lit candles at the Velvet Revolution memorial. No one was killed in the revolution -- the candles are to commemorate the people killed and imprisoned during the Communist Party's 41-year rule.

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