The Czech Republic seems to be heading into an autumn of growing social frustration and unrest. Some 70,000 citizens staged an unprecedented rally by coalescing at a “Czech Republic First” in Prague’s central Václavské [Wenceslas] Square on Saturday, heaping opprobrium on their right-wing Prime Minister, Petr Fiala, and urging the government to curb soaring inflation and energy prices.
Nationalistic slogans were uttered by the protesters, who waved Czech flags while condemning the US-led NATO for being chiefly responsible for ongoing hostilities in Ukraine, causing humanitarian catastrophes, the displacement of millions of Ukrainian refugees, and tragic civilian casualties.
Protest organisers argued that the Czech Republic should adopt a policy of military neutrality akin to Switzerland and that their nation should be emancipated from political and economic servitude to the EU and NATO.
The rally at Václavské Square took place only one day after Prime Minister Petr Fiala narrowly escaped a motion of no confidence. The firm conviction fueled the vote that his administration is not doing enough to protect citizens from escalating living costs.
Nonetheless, protesters called for early elections and threatened to go on a nationwide strike and use other coercive measures if the Fiala’s administration does not step down by September 25.
The protesters also urged establishing interactive ties with its primary energy supplier, Russia. The protest was called for by several NGOs, civil society institutions, and non-parliamentary parties. Participants carried banners that demanded Fiala’s immediate ouster.
However, social calamities like surging inflation and fuel prices in the Czech Republic, which are causing disgruntled citizens to flood the streets, are mostly attributed to Fiala’s support for Ukraine. Hence, the demonstration in Prague had a “Czech Republic First” vibe and was not explicitly pro-Russian, as was the case in Bulgaria and Serbia.
The demonstrators also advocated lifting EU sanctions on Russia since they have a detrimental impact on the Czech economy and ordinary citizens’ daily lives. 
According to local news sources, the protesters demanded the liberation of Czech industries from foreign investors and overseas corporations.
Additionally, the outraged masses called for stepping up efforts to halt an influx of Ukrainian refugees into their country, saying that the conflict in Ukraine is “Not Our War.” 
Since Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine, the Czech Republic has given asylum to over 400,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Meanwhile, observers consider that Saturday’s large-scale demonstration in the Václavské Square drew together traditionally opposite sides of the political spectrum—all demanding an end to Czech alignment with NATO and neutrality in the Ukraine-Russia conflict—to be a unique pheromone. 
The demonstration in Prague will have a domino effect, and in the next few weeks, it is anticipated that other European nations will face the same tumultuous economic crises and political turmoil.
The Czechs will never forget the Prague Spring of 1968, when Soviet tanks rolled in to crush the dissidents.
However, as Lord Palmerston, the British Prime Minister who served in the mid-19th century: “We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
The Czechs feel sympathy for the Ukrainians but cannot suffer from hunger or the cold winter.