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Call for nonviolent action in response to threat of anti-Roma pogrom in Czech Republic

Ústí nad Labem/Krupka, 6.4.2011 15:16, (ROMEA)

The following is a press release from the "We Don't Want Neo-Nazis in Ústí" Initiative:

The Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) has announced an anti-Roma march through the small town of Krupka, not far from Ústí nad Labem, for Saturday, 9 April. The Nazis plan to march to Karel Čapek street, the place in Krupka where the most Roma people live. The aim of the march is to spark fear and hatred. The militant organizations National Resistance (Národní odpor - NO) and the Autonomous Nationalists (Autonomní nacionalisté - AN) are also calling on their members to participate in this action.

On the basis of similar marches held by the same groups in Litvínov-Janov, in the Moravian town of Přerov, and in the East Bohemian town of Nový Bydžov, it is our opinion that there is a risk of violence and that the entire action could culminate in a pogrom against the Roma people living in Krupka. This is unacceptable to us.

Our Initiative will actively and non-violently come out against the DSSS march. We have convened our own assembly in Krupka for 9 April, which will start at noon in K háječku street.

We believe in the democratic principles of the Czech Republic, which include respect for dignity and human rights. These values are now in jeopardy. We have an opportunity, and essentially we also have the obligation, to stand up for the defense of these values, as indifference just gradually moves the boundaries of the permissible past the point of no return.

We condemn all criminal actions which have happened, whether in Krupka or anywhere else in the world. However, at the same time we reject the principle of collective guilt and we are against such crimes being exploited as an excuse for anti-Roma rhetoric.

We intend to actively come out against the (neo)Nazi rally and we ask for your support. We are turning to you as citizens, as representatives of civil society, and as the natural opponents of the ideas represented by the DSSS and organizations like it.

Our action will be strictly nonviolent and is open to anyone who wants to actively express disagreement with marches by (neo)Nazis through the streets of our towns. In Germany, as a rule, whenever (neo)Nazis march, they are greatly outnumbered by respectable people protesting and clearly showing their disagreement with them. The success of our action depends on all of you.

Come on 9 April to the North Bohemian town of Krupka to support calm, colorful coexistence!

Gwendolyn Albert, tisková zpráva, Press release of "We Don't Want Neo-Nazis in Ústí" Initiative (TZ Iniciaty V Ústí neonacisty nechceme, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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