15 neo-Nazis arrested in Most at a rally, WP vice-chair among them
Yesterday in Most, police arrested 15 participants in a neo-Nazi march protesting the recent police raid against members of the National Resistance. Alena Bartošová, spokesperson for the Most police, told journalists that 14 of those arrested are suspected of misdemeanors and one is suspected of a felony. Petr Kotáb, the Workers’ Party vice-chair, was among them. Kotáb collapsed during the arrest and police had to call him an ambulance.
Police suspect one of those arrested of the felony charge of promoting Nazism. According to Bartošová, he was wearing Nazi patches on his clothing. “He was wearing neo-Nazi symbols and is therefore suspected of committing the felony of promoting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms,” the police spokesperson confirmed to the Mediafax agency. According to the internet server iDNES.cz, the man was wearing a t-shirt with the words “Národní odpor” (National Resistance), a Czech neo-Nazi organization.
Police suspect another protester of having committed a misdemeanor against civil co-existence due to the slogans he was chanting. The rest are said to have committed a misdemeanor when they did not obey the orders of a public official. Bartošová said those arrested were taken to the police station where officers would interrogate them and probably release them later.
The neo-Nazi action was not announced to the authorities beforehand. The radicals gathered at around 16:00 in front of the train station in Most. Police estimated their number to be 50. At around 16:45 they tried to start their march, but a representative of the Most town hall dispersed the unannounced gathering. The extremists then separated into small groups which gradually met up again at several different places in the town before dispersing.
The neo-Nazis threatened people at the train station, including children. Clad in black, they yelled, “Cowards, you are hiding at home with the mommies and babies!” at passers-by. Police lost patience after about two hours and intervened against the otherwise unmanageable group.
Workers’ Party vice-chair Petr Kotáb told police he was a journalist. "He was walking around in a journalist’s vest with PRESS written on it, because the Workers’ Party publishes its own paper. Nevertheless, it was evident he was there with the others. After his arrest something went wrong with his heart. An ambulance came for him," an MF DNES editor from Most said. According to a Czech Radio reporter, Kotáb was organizing the neo-Nazis, telling them which routes to take and where to meet.
The arrest was Kotáb’s second for a misdemeanor against the law on assembly. Police also arrested him in Prague for not obeying police orders. Almost the entire WP leadership was arrested during that incident.
The police spokesperson did not say how many police officers had been deployed to the rally. “The police have enough forces and equipment to maintain public order,” she said.
The neo-Nazi gathering in Most was a protest against last Tuesday’s police action, code-named “Power”, during which officers arrested 10 neo-Nazis from the National Resistance. Police charged them with organizing concerts promoting Nazism and fascism. Five of them are in custody and another five were released on their own recognizance while the investigation continues. All face charges of the felony of promoting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms.
Participation by one of the highest representatives of the Workers’ Party at the neo-Nazi rally once again shows the clear connection between the National Resistance and the party. Other people were seen among the neo-Nazis who have regularly participated in provocations organized by the WP.
Neo-Nazi actions attended by 30 people or less also took place yesterday in Pardubice, Písek and Plzeň. More neo-Nazi gatherings are announced for today in Kopřivnice and Litvínov.
In Plzeň, about 25 neo-Nazis met yesterday, where they were outnumbered by police four to one. City officials dispersed the unannounced gathering. The demonstrators, accompanied by police, then left for the train station. One was arrested and taken to the police station over symbols on his clothing; an expert will determine whether he has committed a felony or not.
Yesterday radicals also gathered in Písek. About 30 people marched across Alšovo náměstí and the historical stone bridge there after 15:00. Along the way they chanted the slogans “Freedom for Political Prisoners”, “Police Trial” and “Police State”. The march ended on the riverbank in front of the police station.
On Saturday evening, police arrested three men at a neo-Nazi protest on náměstí Míru in Zlín. Two of those arrested were neo-Nazi opponents and one was a neo-Nazi.
In Hodonín a neo-Nazi concert was planned for Saturday. According to information from the Hodonín police, however, the concert was not held in the end, and police merely checked the identities of the fans of the movement who arrived at the site.
Very few people attended the other Saturday neo-Nazi actions, which were outnumbered by police, who simply followed the provocations. There were protest marches on Saturday in Havlíčkův Brod, Jablonec nad Nisou, and Mladá Boleslav.
All 10 men charged with organizing concerts are members of the neo-Nazi National Resistance. Their arrest was the culmination of more than one year of work by detectives on the organization of concerts at which the ideas of neo-Nazism, nationalism, racism and xenophobia are said to be disseminated. The National Resistance movement has also allegedly been promoted at these concerts, which is based on the ideas of “white supremacy” and anti-Semitism, espouses the National Socialist ideology and uses symbols and color combinations which refer to Hitler’s Germany. Those arrested face up to eight years in prison. In relation to the intervention, police are providing protection to the 12-year-old son of Czech PM Jan Fischer and the family of Interior Minister Martin Pecina. Police say the measure is a preventive one.
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