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  •  READER COMMENTS

    Reader comments on

    Subject: The history of the Plastics is not over!
    Date: Feb 26, 2003
    Sender: LucianPrevious | Next

    Prague (dpa) - It's been a long strange trip to democracy for the Plastic People of the Universe, a group of aging rock artists, who played a key role in the Czech underground movement against the
    communist regime. On Tuesday,february 19 the Czech Supreme Court overturned a 1976 communist
    court verdict which had sent four of the psychedelic musicians of the Plastic People and their sister band DG 307 into jail for "organized
    disturbance of the peace". However, what appeared to be a victory for the artists 26 years after their original sentence gave the men little reason to cheer, said one of the grey-haired defendants, Plastics saxophonist Vratislav Brabenec, on Wednesday.
    The artists had wanted the case cancelled and their names cleared. They were disappointed when the high court decided to return the case to a lower court and allow state prosecutors to reopen the old investigation, which could lead to a new trial. "We were expecting it to end yesterday," Brabenec, 59, told Deutsche Presse-Agentur, dpa. "But it isn't over yet." "They are opening the old wounds, the old pain, and it isn't easy
    for us," he said. "They will be asking us the same questions that the communists asked." The high court annulled the artists' convictions for "vulgarity" and "breach of peace" as well as their sentences. The men served between eight months and 18 months in jail, although the Plastics' poet-promoter Ivan Jirous was convicted later on separate charges and spent a total eight years behind bars.
    Brabenec said he was singled out for harassment with Jirous and
    the other co-defendants, Svatopluk Karasek and Pavel Zajicek.
    As the state took the hippies to court in a case, where some say
    rock-and-roll went on trial, the Plastic People musicians were convicted of using vulgar, anti-establishment lyrics and playing a rock concerts without government permission.
    The Plastics said they just played the music they liked to play. Milan Hlava, who had founded the band less than a month after the 1968 Soviet invasion crushed the so-called Prague Spring in
    Czechoslovakia, even said later they had become "dissidents against their will".
    But the Plastics' music remained a political issue. The communist prosecutors hoped their convictions would discourage their young fans
    and pressure other intellectual dissidents into submission. But if ever a strategy went wrong in communist Prague, it was this one.
    After waiting for years for their day in court, Brabenec and his cohorts from the Plastics People were in the Brno courtroom Tuesday
    when Supreme Court Justice Frantisek Hrabec announced that their 1976 trial had been illegal.
    Hrabec said the communist court had mishandled evidence and failed to call all the necessary defendants. However, he concluded that his
    court could not close the case because it was unable to determine the defendants' innocence.
    As a result, he said, the case would have to be sent back to a Prague court for review. A new trial could be scheduled later this
    year.
    "It's a little bit crazy," said Brabenec who didn't dispute that Tuesday's high court verdict was properly based on current Czech law. But the case "has been turned back to the first stage in the courts".
    As the verdict was being read Tuesday, Brabenec said Jirous leaned over and asked, "Why are they asking me the same questions from 26
    years ago?"
    Smrcek was not in the courtroom, but he offered an answer: "It's been a long, strange trip to democracy." dpa

    Previous: Re: Plastic people Movie | Next: Re: The history of the Plastics is not over!

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    Comment index:

  • Plastic People review   from Elana, Feb 1, 2002
  • Re: Plastic People review   from husak prusak, Sep 27, 2007
  • Plastic people Movie   from Barry, Feb 25, 2002
  • Re: Plastic people Movie   from Les Brinkley, Aug 9, 2003
  • Re: Plastic people Movie   from Mike Dimitrov, Oct 1, 2003
  • Re: Plastic people Movie   from Ivana, Jan 11, 2009
  • » The history of the Plastics is not over! «   from Lucian, Feb 26, 2003
  • Re: The history of the Plastics is not over!   from DC Rapier, Feb 29, 2008
  • [no subject]   from Joe, Apr 5, 2003
  • More underground the the Velvet Underground!   from P. Jackman, Sep 13, 2003
  • Re: More underground the the Velvet Underground!   from michael dimitrov, Oct 1, 2003
  • Re: More underground the the Velvet Underground!   from Ricardo Aguilar, Jan 18, 2004
  • [no subject]   from Drozdek, Mar 25, 2006
  • Plastic People review   from Elana, Feb 1, 2002
  • Re: Plastic People review   from husak prusak, Sep 27, 2007
  • Plastic people Movie   from Barry, Feb 25, 2002
  • Re: Plastic people Movie   from Les Brinkley, Aug 9, 2003
  • Re: Plastic people Movie   from Mike Dimitrov, Oct 1, 2003
  • Re: Plastic people Movie   from Ivana, Jan 11, 2009
  • » The history of the Plastics is not over! «   from Lucian, Feb 26, 2003
  • Re: The history of the Plastics is not over!   from DC Rapier, Feb 29, 2008
  • [no subject]   from Joe, Apr 5, 2003
  • More underground the the Velvet Underground!   from P. Jackman, Sep 13, 2003
  • Re: More underground the the Velvet Underground!   from michael dimitrov, Oct 1, 2003
  • Re: More underground the the Velvet Underground!   from Ricardo Aguilar, Jan 18, 2004
  • [no subject]   from Drozdek, Mar 25, 2006