Le triomphe des opprimés

NEW YORK – Nous étions début juin 1989. Vaclav Havel avait été libéré de prison quelques jours auparavant seulement, mais il semblait habité par une certitude qui, rétrospectivement, apparaît quasi prophétique. Des milliers de ses concitoyens avaient écrit des lettres demandant sa libération, à un moment où faire preuve de solidarité avec le dissident le plus connu de Tchécoslovaquie constituait un acte manifeste et risqué de désobéissance civile.

« Nous, Tchèques, retrouvons enfin notre courage » dit-il, comme s’il sentait la nouvelle détermination de la population à confronter les cerbères de l’État totalitaire communiste. « Tôt ou tard, ils commettront une erreur, peut-être en passant des gens à tabac. Ce jour-là, 40.000 personnes occuperont la place Venceslas ! ».

Quatre mois plus tard, une semaine après la chute du Mur de Berlin, Prague connut à son tour la révolution. Un petit rassemblement, organisé par des étudiants, prit place dans le vieux cimetière de Vysehrad, là où sont enterrés Smetana et Dvorak aux pieds d’une forteresse surplombant la ville. Alors qu’ils se dirigeaient vers la place Venceslas, portant des bougies, la police anti-émeutes fit barrage et plusieurs d’entre eux – hommes, femmes et enfants – furent brutalement battus pas les forces de l’ordre.

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