The "Velvet Revolution" (Czech: sametová revoluce, Slovak: nežná revolúcia) (November 16 – December 29 1989) refers to a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that saw the overthrow of the Marxist-Leninist government there.
On November 17, 1989, a peaceful student demonstration in Prague was suppressed by riot police. That event sparked a series of popular demonstrations from November 19 to late December. By November 20 the number of peaceful protesters assembled in Prague had swelled from 200,000 the previous day to an estimated half-million. A two hour general strike, involving all citizens of Czechoslovakia, was held on November 27.
With the collapse of other Communist governments, and increasing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced on November 28 that it would relinquish power and dismantle the single-party state. Barbed wire and other obstructions were removed from the border with West Germany and Austria in early December. On December 10, President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-Communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned. Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the federal parliament on December 28 and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on December 29 1989.
In June 1990 the first democratic elections since 1946 were held in Czechoslovakia, resulting in the country's first completely non-Communist government in over forty years.
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"Velvet Revolution." Wikipedia. Wikipedia, 2007. Answers.com 17 Nov. 2007. http://www.answers.com/topic/velvet-revolution