The SED government wanted to expel the East German refugees in Prague officially, and insisted they had to travel through GDR territory. In early October 1989, special trains made their way from Prague to West Germany. At the same time, the GDR closed its border to Czechoslovakia, blocking the route to the West via Prague.
People occupied platforms and stations in Dresden in reaction, and the situation escalated. The militant protest led to a state of emergency at Dresden's main station on 3 and 4 October. The police intervened, resulting in numerous arrests and injuries, which continued in the days that followed.
Blocked in on all sides by state security forces, the demonstrators spontaneously elected a number of representatives on 8 October to de-escalate the heated situation. This "20 Group" eventually managed to start up a dialogue with the SED mayor of Dresden.