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Czech protest leader named among world’s 20 ‘rising stars’ by The Times

Prague, Czech Republic – British daily The Times has named Czech protest leader Mikuláš Minář, founder and leader of the ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ organization, as one of the world’s 20 rising stars to keep an eye on in 2020.

Presenting Minář as a “key player in Czech politics”, the British conservative daily praised the 26-year-old activist leader and student’s prominent role in organizing the biggest anti-government protest held in the Czech Republic since the Velvet Revolution and the fall of communism.

“Thirty years after the key-jangling marches that ushered in the Velvet Revolution and freed Czechoslovakia from communism, the young people of Prague are back on the streets almost every week. This time, the targets of the protests are Milos Zeman and Andrej Babis, the President and Prime Minister, who are accused of undermining the rule of law and allowing corruption to flourish”, The Times editors wrote, also noting Minář’s predilection for yellow-mustard clothing and striking resemblance with English actor Damian Lewis.

Founded by a group of students, ‘A Million Moments for Democracy’ (Milion chvilek pro demokracii) has been the key driver of an unprecedented, nation-wide wave of protests calling for billionaire Prime Minister Andrej Babis, under investigation for EU subsidy fraud and conflict of interest, to step down.

The popular wave of anger culminated in two mass protests, in June and November last year, where over 250,000 demonstrators gathered on Prague’s Letna plain to express their discontent with the current political leadership and reaffirm their commitment to defending the rule of law and the judiciary’s independence.

The organization announced this week that it will launch a new series of demonstrations in late February, with protests/debates held every week in a different Czech region.

“Our main goal for the next two years is to work with democratic parties to win the parliamentary elections”, Minář told reporters on Tuesday.

Other young people named by The Times as some of the most influential leaders to watch in 2020 include Hong Kong protests leader Jimmy Sham, Bavarian PM Markus Söder, Russian opposition activist Yegor Zhukov and Spain’s 14-year-old Princess Leonor.

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