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The Velvet Revolution or Gentle Revolution was a non-violent revolution in Czechoslovakia that took place from November 17 to December 29, 1989. Dominated by student and other popular demonstrations against the single-party government of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, it saw to the collapse of the party's control of the country, and the subsequent conversion to a parliamentary republic. On November 17, 1989, a Friday, riot police suppressed a student demonstration in Prague. That event sparked a series of popular demonstrations from November 19 to late December. By November 20 the number of protesters assembled in Prague had grown from 200,000 the previous day to an estimated 500,000. A two-hour general strike, involving all citizens of Czechoslovakia, was held on November 27. With the collapse of other Warsaw Pact governments and increasing street protests, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia announced on November 28 that it would relinquish power and dismantle the single-party state. Barbed wire and other obstructions were removed from the border with West Germany and Austria in early December. On December 10, President Gustáv Husák appointed the first largely non-communist government in Czechoslovakia since 1948, and resigned. Alexander Dubček was elected speaker of the federal parliament on December 28 and Václav Havel the President of Czechoslovakia on December 29, 1989. (via Freebase)