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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 29, 1989

INSTRUCTIONS OF THE COORDINATING CENTER OF THE CIVIC FORUM FOR THE LOCAL FORUMS WITH A RECOMMENDATION FOR POLICY TOWARD THE COMMUNISTS, PRAGUE

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    Instructions of the Coordinating Center of the Civic Forum for the Local Forums with a Recommendation for Policy Toward the Communists and information on how to deal with Communists infiltrating the Civic Forum branches
    "Instructions of the Coordinating Center of the Civic Forum for the Local Forums with a Recommendation for Policy Toward the Communists, Prague," November 29, 1989, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, USD AV CR , KC OF Archive, file OF Documents—typescript copy A4, 1 p. Translated by Caroline Kovtun. https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/111765
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In the last two days information is coming from individual Civic Forums in the regions and especially in the factories and workplaces about communists becoming members, sometimes with intent to control them. We are democrats and therefore we can not prohibit our fellow citizens, without regard to their party affiliation, from joining and participating in the new structures of the civic movement. It is necessary, however, for all who work in them to be honest followers of our movement, the basic goal of which is, as introduced in the declaration on the internal organization of the CF from 28 November, “the complete opening of an environment for the creation of political pluralism and for the organization of free elections in our country.” A person whose actions are in blatant contradiction with efforts to create a democratic [society] while fully respecting human rights does not belong here, and it is necessary to expel him from the Civic Forum. This without regard to his party affiliation. Such an expulsion is especially urgent in those instances where there is a larger group of opponents of democracy [than honest members] in the forum. If there is a majority of them anywhere, it is necessary for the followers of the civic movement to leave the forum, found a new forum, and release a statement about their action. The opponents of democracy are in the minority, let us not let them rule and frighten us! In order to avoid such conflicts, we must be careful when accepting new Civic Forum members and in particular members of its committees, commissions et. al., especially in those cases when CPCz members are applying for work. It is unacceptable for any kind of group within the CF (for example, CPCz members, but also others) to assert their so-called party discipline, according to which all the members of this group are bound to a common plan of action, including those who would otherwise disagree with the plan.

The existence of various political and social groups, including communist ones, their activity and their influence over public opinion is, on the contrary, very demanding outside of the framework of the forums and certainly should not develop into discrimination against any group during speeches at public gatherings, in workers' and local presses etc.

We can only build democracy by democratic means!

In some establishments and places, civic activities are coming up against refusals to negotiate with Forum representatives by the organs of state power, national committees, business managements etc. It usually occurs where the forums have not yet gained greater support from fellow citizens or co-workers. Only one thing will help in this situation: turn to the citizens and factory workers, inform them of your activity and challenge them to take part in it. If you will be many, no chairman of a national committee or factory director will refuse to negotiate with you.

[Source: USD AV CR , KC OF Archive, file OF Documents—typescript copy A4, 1 p. Translated by Caroline Kovtun.].

1 Ladislav Adamec was a member of the Central Committee, Prime Minister of the Czech Federal government in 1987 and Prime Minister of Czechoslovakia in 1988. A moderate communist economic reformer, Ademec's proposed (3 December) changes to form a new government were not accepted by the the non-communist opposition. He withdrew from public life in 1990.