"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Two Thousand Words that Belongs to Workers, Farmers, Officials, Scientists, Artists, and Everybody (Prague Spring: “Two Thousand Words" Manifesto)

[Date] June 28, 1968
[Source] Modern International Relations: Basic Documents, Volume 1, Kajima Institute of International Peace, pp.787-791.
[Full text]


In this moment of hope, albeit hope still threatened, we appeal to you. It took several months before many of us believed it was safe to speak up ; many of us still do not think it is safe. But speak up we did exposing ourselves to the extent that we have no choice but to complete our plan to humanize the regime. If we did not, the old forces would exact cruel revenge. We appeal above all to those who so far have waited on the sidelines. The time now approaching will decide events for years to come.


Everyone will have to draw their own conclusions. Common, agreed conclusions can only be reached in discussion that requires freedom of speech-the only democratic achievement to our credit this year.

But in the days to come we must gird ourselves with our own initiative and make our own decisions.

To begin with we will oppose the view, sometimes voiced, that a democratic revival can be achieved without the communists, or even in opposition to them. This would be unjust, and foolish too. The communists already have their organizations in place, and in these we must support the progressive wing. They have their experienced officials, and they still have in their hands, after all, the crucial levers and buttons. On the other hand they have presented an Action Program to the public. This program will begin to even out the most glaring inequalities, and no one else has a program in such specific detail.

We must demand that they produce local Action Programs in public in every district and community. Then the issue will suddenly revolve around very ordinary and long awaited acts of justice. The Czechoslovak Communist Party is preparing for its congress, where it will elect its new Central Committee. Let us demand that it be a better committee than the present one. Today the communist party says it is going to rest its position of leadership on the confidence of the public, and not on force. Let us believe them, but only as long as we can believe in the people they are now sending as delegates to the party's district and regional conferences.

People have recently been worded that the democratization process has come to a halt. This feeling is partly a sign of fatigue after the excitement of events, but partly it reflects the truth. The season of astonishing revelations, of dismissals from high office, and of heady speeches couched in language of unaccustomed daring-all this is over. But the struggle between opposing forces has merely become somewhat less open, the fight continues over the content and formulation of the laws and over the scope of practical measures. Besides, we must give the new people time to work : the new ministers, prosecutors, chairmen and secretaries. They are entitled to time in which to prove themselves fit or unfit. This is all that can be expected at present of the central political bodies.


Although at present one cannot expect more of the central political bodies, it is vital to achieve more at district and community level, Let us demand the departure of people who abused their power, damaged public property, and acted dishonorably or brutally. Ways must be found to compel them to resign. To mention a few : public criticism, resolutions, demonstrations, demonstrative work brigades, collections to buy presents for them on their retirement, strikes, and picketing at their front doors.

But we should reject any illegal, indecent, or boorish methods, which they would exploit to bring influence to bear on Alexander Dubček.

Our aversion to the writing of rude letters must be expressed so completely that the only explanation for any such missives in the future would be that their recipients had ordered them themselves. Let us revive the activity of the National Front. Let us demand public sessions of the national committees.

For questions that no one else will look into, let us set up our own civic committees and commissions. There is nothing difficult about it ; a few people gather together, elect a chairman, keep proper records, publish their findings, demand solutions, and refuse to be shouted down.

Let us convert the district and local newspapers, which have mostly degenerated to the lever of official mouthpieces, into a platform for all the forward-looking elements in politics ; let us demand that editorial boards be formed of National Front representatives, or else let us start new papers. Let us form committees for the defense of free speech. At our meetings, let us have our own staffs for ensuring order. If we hear strange reports, let us seek confirmation, let us send delegations to the proper authorities and publicize their answers, perhaps putting them up on front gates. Let us give support to the police when they are prosecuting genuine wrongdoers, for it is not our aim to create anarchy or a state of general uncertainty. Let us eschew quarrels between neighbors, and let us avoid drunkenness on political occasions. Let us expose informers.


There has been great alarm recently over the possibility that foreign forces will intervene in our development.

Whatever superior forces may face us, all we can do is stick to our own positions, behave decently, and initiate nothing ourselves. We can show our government that we will stand by it, with weapons if need be, if it will do what we give it a mandate to do. And we can assure our allies that we will observe our treaties of alliance, friendship, and trade. Irritable reproaches and ill-argued suspicions on our part can only make things harder for our government, and bring no benefit to ourselves.

In any case, the only way we can achieve equality is to improve our domestic situation and carry the process of renewal far enough to some day elect statesman with sufficient courage, honor, and political acumen to create such equality and keep it that way. But this is a problem that faces all governments of small countries everywhere.

This spring a great opportunity was given to us once again, as it was after the end of the war. Again we have the chance to take into our own hands our common cause, which for working purposes we call socialism, and give it a form more appropriate to our once-good reputation and to the fairly good opinion we used to have of ourselves. The spring is over and will never return. By winter we will know all.

So ends our statement addressed to workers, farmers, officials, artists, scholars, scientists, technicians, and everybody. It was written at the behest of scholars and scientists.