you don"t need to save the crystal for a special day, even water tastes better in a "Fancy Glass"

Monday, December 25, 2006

happy holidays and a hope that we will give peace a chance in 2007

Today was our first full day in Prague, it was filled with historical gorgeous views and moments and a lovely christmas dinner this evening. But I want to take a moment tonight on christmas eve to wish for peace in the world in the spirit of the "Lennon Wall of Prague" that I saw today as we were walking through the little quarter. This peace graffiti I saw above was a small part of the wall, with a big message.-

And I add to that message tonight as well with a wish on this christmas eve for
"peace on earth, goodwill towards man"

About the Lennon wall...

John Lennon's ideals for peace thrived under totalitarianism at Prague's 'Lennon Wall' and helped inspire the non-violent "Velvet Revolution" that led to the fall of Communism in the former Czechoslovakia.

by Ron Synovitz

Czech Republic; Dec. 8, 1998 -- The "John Lennon Peace Wall" stands in a quiet square amidst the baroque architecture of Prague's diplomatic quarter. Though Lennon never visited the Bohemian capital, he was a pacifist hero for the Czech subculture during the totalitarian era. In the decade following the collapse of Communism, the Lennon Wall came to represent not only a memorial to Lennon and his ideas, but also a monument to free speech and the non-violent rebellion of Czech youth against the repressions of neo-Stalinism.

Shortly after Lennon's death in 1980, under the ever watchful eyes of the Communist secret police, an anonymous group of Prague youth set up a mock grave for the ex-Beatle. The event was spontaneous, much in the same way that fans in New York City had gathered at Central Park upon hearing of Lennon's death. But unlike the gathering in New York, mourners in Prague risked prison for what authorities called "subversive activities against the state."

Prague's mock tombstone was, in fact, a recess within a garden wall that forms the backside of a 14th century churchyard. At the time of Lennon's death, western pop songs were banned by Communist authorities and some Czech musicians who played the music were sent to jail for the offense.

But the threat of prison couldn't keep people from slipping into the square at night to scrawl graffiti epitaphs in honor of their underground hero. The Communist police tried repeatedly to whitewash over the graffiti but they could never manage to keep the wall clean. Paintings of Lennon began to appear along with lyrics of his songs. The wall quickly took on a political focus and, inevitably, developed into a forum for grievances against the Communist state. Even the installation of surveillance cameras and the posting of an overnight guard couldn't stop the opinions from being expressed. Lennon marches also started to take place each year on Dec. 8. Those marches ultimately became linked to dissident protests on International Human Rights Day -- December 10. Participants in those early marches say they were channeled through a gauntlet of uniformed and plain-clothes police. Many were jailed or beaten for joining the marches.

Some of the writing on the Lennon wall during the 1980s was inane but much of it was quite profound. A running battle developed between the police whitewashers and dissident graffiti writers until November, 1989 when Communism collapsed in the former Czechoslovakia's non-violent "Velvet Revolution."

It has been reported that the French ambassador, whose office looks directly upon the colorful wall, telephoned Prague's municipal authorities late in 1989 and asked them not to paint over or interfere with the graffiti.

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