An outcry against Czechoslovak dissidents mounted today with wide publicity given to letters and messages condemning them as "traitors."
A letter from the workers of the Telsa factory in Prague was read on television news. It called for the "laws of our country to be applied to these elements."
Prague evening newspapers and the Cetaka news agency also published excerpts of letters and resolutions signed by individuals and working groups.
The correspondence was a reaction to a half-page editorial in Rude Pravo, the Communist Party daily, which yesterday sharply denounced the dissident manifesto "Charter 77" published in the West last week.
Ceteka said the Prague city committee of the Communist Party received more than 70 resolutions condemning "Charter 77" within hours of Rude Pravo's appearance on the streets.
The chairman of the Communist Party committee of the CKD engineering works said: "Those who signed themselves under this shameful pamphlet handed over to Western (news) agencies have relegated themselves to the trash heap of history as traitors of the working class."
The Rude Pravo editorial, which used some of the strongest language to appear for some time, described the authors and signatories of the manifesto as "servants of the blackest imperialist reaction."
It was the first official reaction to the manifesto and the ensuing wave of support for the newspaper's stance was expected to gain momentum over the next few days.
The Soviet Union joined the campaign against the dissidents, with the government newspaper Investia denouncing them as "counterreevolutionary scum doomed to failutre."