Ing. Jiří Kotek

* 1957  

  • "We went out and on there was an angry crowd on the Wenceslas Square from the bottom of the Bridge. They wave fluttering and chanted something, for peace and for life and such." I said to myself, they haven't had enough yet. "I want freedom, we want freedom!" I thought, behold, an interesting slogan. It tugged at my ears. I stayed still: Koťas, come on!' - 'No, I'm staying here, I care about this.' I was hanging around what it was like, people and policemen around and on the sidewalks. And a bunch of people, it could be 200-300 people, went up from Wenceslas from Wenceslas. I wandered around watching the cops, I was looking at the people, their banners, so they were some agitated, sympathetic young people. The cops were also young, not so sympathetic. It's a trap, it's a trap! ' The procession backed up again and went above the ground so that they would not deflect them in the underpass and disassemble them. the instruction came, 'Well, now we're going to end it.' I twisted back into the crowd and said to the more likeable banners I said, 'Watch, now they'll come in, they'll cut you up and start collecting you.' A few people stuck a banner or left it, and I sat down on the hood of the car to see what the hell would look like. A car drove onto a pavement, police cars arrived, big loading trucks and buses. Arresting began to take place and people were pushed into the cars."

  • "At the Disciplinary Commission, I experienced such an interesting divide. When I was invited to the committee, I felt hugely relieved. Because there was a solution. Either I fire me from school or I don't get fired, but it's already clear. The following kind of thinking ceased: 'if - if - it happens - look - this is the danger.' My head was rocking a lot. With a bit of distance, I realized that my biggest enemy was my own head construing the bars and sanctions. Considering all those around me, who would suffer. Knowing the stories of the 1950s as perceived. That was terribly liberating to me. I realized that when I got into such a situation, in my entire life... and then, thanks to all this, I survived my anti-corruption activities knowing that I couldn't let it too close to myself, into my head. I used the metaphor of going up to the second floor with an elevator and looking at those problems from the top, but I wouldn't allow them to enter my head. I would not allow myself to suffer the consequences."

  • "In fact, we cut off that we met in Karlovy Vary near the post office, in the center, it is the most civil meeting place, the intersection of the spa, business and administrative zone. I prepared a chat, an information on the situation regarding what happened in Prague and what should be done, deliberately, deliberately, so that it was not only happening in Prague, but also to other cities, so it wasn't just a matter - nowadays it is called “Prague cafes” - but at that time the phenomenon of Prague versus countryside was perceived negatively in the countryside. I tried to avoind that as much as I could. Therefore, there was the concept of demonstrations at 4pm every day. Near the post I had a statement in this crowd, and I also had copies to give out to people and invite more people. That each one invited another five. And that we meet every day. There, we said it out loud, programmatically, and so it happened. Undercover cops in civilian clothes were spying around us eager to learn who spoke. A lot of people walked along the windows and were just afraid to watch what was happening. And they were afraid to approach. They stopped and looked. The more intense clump was in the middle of the ground, and a ring of those who were curious but afraid to move closer was forming around them. And between the two groups were the spies."

  • “When we had one of those rallies, we were getting into rage for communists to get rid of the fear of the communists, when there were really many of us, nearly five thousand, we set out from the center from Perla to the Communist Party. There I realized for the first time what the crowd was fierce. I had goose bumps when we came to the regional committee of the communist party, and I realized how excited these people were and how they could be manipulated. If I said at that moment - because they had already accepted me very much as a speaker, and Jindra Konečný, we both became spokespersons of the Civic Forum in Karlovy Vary... – It was enough to say, 'Now, throw them out the window!' And those people would really be able to go inside and throw them everyone they found out of the window. That was terribly binding. Realizing that huge responsibility for the people, the crowd. Around the corner stood two or three cars of those with white helmets, shields and batons. The threat was constant. The Communist slogans and posters were affixed all over Karlovy Vary, and we knew they were still active."

  • "Then, when the comrades were supposed to continue according to propositions, they were writing something for me to go to Ruzyně. They tossed it over there. I was expecting to go to Ruzyně. It was Friday and I was angry that no one was going to search for me, that I would get lost. I said I would leave at the dorms; they knew at home that I was coming and not according to the basketball. Actually, I would be disobedient for a few days I was reconciled with it. Then he started to lead me out of the Bartolomějská police station and I lost my orientation, I didn't know which floor I was on; then led me through the labyrinth, went down the stairs for a long time, and told me, "You signed your orthel by not cooperating yourself." I fell out on the street, there was no door handle on the door. I looked left and right, Bartolomějská street was completely empty, nobody went there, everyone was afraid of doing so. Now the car would come, load me and take away, he thought I was terrified of what was going to happen, terrible uncertainty, and why noone accompanied me, as I could just run away. I walked five meters to the left - nothing. Five meters to the right - nothing. I did not know what to do. I walked slowly to the side of Máj store and the U Medvídků pub. Towards the crowd, backwards. Nobody was coming. Nobody whistled. So I entered the crowd, I was glad to be in the crowd. And I looked around who was looking at me, who they sent to watch me. My own head haunted me terribly, creating images of danger. I went left, right, ran into the subway. And again, I look into the crowd, people looked at me strangely, I was probably deranged. I drove one station, I waited, and when they said, 'Exit and get on, the door is closing,' I jumped out of the carriage. I was pleased to be alone at the stop. That the one who was following me was gone. I jumped into another carriage and drove to the other side to Florenc. I'm not going to take the bus, I'm going to hitchhike I thought. On the other hand, I messed up there, went to White Mountain."

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Our own head constructs cages, bars and sanctions

Jiří Kotek, an activist, former politician and tireless anti-corruption fighter, was born on October 12, 1957 in Karlovy Vary. He graduated from high school and then from agricultural university. His university studies were interrupted for a year, when he was expelled from the statesmen for his participation in one of the first anti-regime demonstrations of the 1980s, namely a protest during the World Assembly for Peace and Life in 1983 in Prague. Eventually he could complete his university studies. After military service he returned to the Karlovy Vary region, where he initially worked in agriculture and later worked around the city with a lawn mower as an employee of local Technical Services. At the end of the 1980s he regularly went to Prague for demonstrations and in November 1989 he became one of the initiators of the Velvet Revolution in Karlovy Vary. He was also a spokesman for the Civic Forum, but left them as early as March 1990. But he was involved in regional politics again, this time as a member of the Civic Democratic Alliance and later the founder of the Alternativa movement. He drew attention especially to property injustices related to privatization and public procurement; it was thanks to him, for example, that the so-called „Karlovy Vary draw“ came to the public. For his activities he won the Award for Courage of the Endowment Fund Against Corruption.