As in other Eastern Bloc countries, in the 1970s a similar policy was pursued as in the USSR.
There has been some liberalisation of social life. In January 1977, a Declaration of Charter 77,
an independent initiative led by Václav Havel, Jan Patočka and Jiří Hájk, was published;
many of its 242 signatories being subjected to repression. The organization reminded about
the treaties signed and ratified by Czechoslovakia guaranteeing human rights and civil
liberties, stating that these rights are violated in Czechoslovakia. The Charter was condemned
by the Communist authorities.
In 1978, the Committee for the Defence of the Unjustly Penalised was established, modelled
on the Polish Committee for the Defence of Workers. It has been attempted to put an end to it,
but the arrests of activists have only increased its number.
Some Czechs and Slovaks have chosen a different way of opposing domestic politics. For
example, between 1979 and 1980 more than 70,000 citizens emigrated to Western countries.
For this purpose, they for example used tourist trips to Yugoslavia.