Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Students begin 24-hour hunger strike

18 December 2012

Ceske Budejovice, South Bohemia, Dec 17 (CTK) - Sixteen students from South Bohemia yesterday started a one-day protest hunger strike against the coalition of the Social Democrats and the Communists in the regional government, Simon Heller, from the South Bohemia University, has told CTK.

The coalition was formed after the October regional elections.

A number of their sympathisers have also gone on a 24-hour hunger strike in support of the students, Heller said.

He said the protest had been joined by Zdena Masinova, sister of the Masin brothers, legendary anti-Communist fighters from the early 1950s.

"Yes, it is so. I will join the hunger strike this evening," Masinova told the server

"I do not know how many people will take part in the hunger strike. We have continually received e-mails from the people who have written to us that they support our protest action," Heller said.

The participants in the hunger strike will only drink water for 24 hours. The day without food will end at 18:00 on Tuesday.

At that time, a rally against the coalition in Ceske Budejovice will be culminating.

Even after the talks with the students, regional governor Jiri Zimola (Social Democrats, CSSD) insists on the coalition, having calling the hunger strike an extreme instrument and accused the students of expedient escalation of the situation last week.

The students say with the current regional government, the Social Democrats have cheated the voters.

They say the Social Democrats violated their resolution from 1995 banning the party's cooperation with any extremist parties, including the Communists (KSCM).

The regonal elections in South Bohemia were won by the CSSD before the KSCM.

At their first meeting, the newly elected regional assembly members elected a Communist to the post of chairwoman of the education department. This outraged a part of students and the general public.

The petition against her appointment has been signed by almost 11,000 people.

Students have staged two protest rallies in Ceske Budejovice and went on a one-hour strike on November 22.

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