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Václav Havel Memorial Day

From the register:

Anyone who believes that free expression is an essential component of every healthy society is welcome to wear or display the Havel tartan.


The Havel tartan portrays an endless succession of prison cell windows struck through in red, protesting the persecution and imprisonment of writers of conscience in the knowledge that free expression is an essential component of every healthy society. It is named in honour of the late Vaclav Havel, the dissident playwright and co-author of Charter 77, the landmark human rights declaration for which he was imprisoned for several years, only to lead the ‘Velvet Revolution’ that peacefully overthrew communism and installed him as Czechoslovakia’s president. Charter 77 was also the inspiration for Charter 08, the petition demanding the end of one-party rule in China for which author Liu Xiaobo is currently serving an 11-year sentence. Permission to adopt the Havel name was graciously granted by his wife, Dagmar Havlova Veskrnova, with assistance from the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation VIZE 97 and PEN International, the worldwide writers’ association promoting literature and defending freedom of expression.

For more on Vaclav Havel, click his portrait.