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August 24, 2019
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Czech city of Brno to see counter-protests against neo-Nazis again this year

23.4.2019 9:51
The 1 May 2019 Facebook event of the
The 1 May 2019 Facebook event of the "Brno Blocks" (Brno blokuje) initiative.

The "Brno Blocks" initiative will once again be counter-protesting the planned neo-Nazi events on the streets of the South Moravian metropolis on 1 May. "Neo-Nazi men and women will once again be coming on 1 May to Brno in order to 'lift Europe out of the spiritual and biological mud', as they see it. They want to march through the streets three abreast carrying lit torches, a symbol of Nazism. It's likely that they still do not understand that there is no place for displays of Nazism on the streets of Brno," the representatives of the initiative have posted to the Facebook event called "You Can't Give the Nazi Salute if You're Playing 2019" (Kdo si hraje, nehajluje 2019).

How do you carry flags and torches at the same time?

The National and Social Front (NSF) has already announced its assembly to the local authority of the Brno-střed Municipal Department. The extremists will gather on Zelný trh, from where they will march through the city down Masarykova, Nádražní and Hybešova Streets to Mendlovo náměstí, according to news server iDNES.cz.

Local government representatives will be directly on the scene to make sure those attending do not break the law on public assemblies. They are also in contact with police about the planned march, who are monitoring the situation as it develops.

The NSF has published a manual on its website according to which the demonstrators will be moving three abreast and "if you are holding a torch, hold it pointing directly up and away from the march", while the flags held by those flanking the torch holder should be held centered and pointing straight ahead. The authors add: "There won't be populist babbling, but activism and the presentation of a good movement that wants to lift Europe out of the spiritual and biological mud into which the Old Continent is rushing unstoppably, if it hasn't already hit rock bottom."

Brno residents will again blockade the neo-Nazi march

The "Brno Blocks" initiative, however, does not want to let the neo-Nazis march through the city this year either without civilized, normal people expressing their disagreement with them. "Hate and violence lose their power when confronted with joy, love and solidarity. We believe that absolutely anybody can stand up to fascism. For that reason, just as we did two years ago, we are calling on collectives, communities, friends, hobby groups, individuals and organizations from Brno and beyond to join our anti-fascist playing in the streets - because you can't give the Nazi salute if you're playing," the Facebook event reads.

The specific form of this event is not yet known. Václav Pecl of Brno Blocks recalled that the National Socialists have assembled on Zelný trh before and that Adolf Hitler personally attended one of their gatherings there.

Saturday, 20 April marked what would have been the 130th birthday of the Nazi leader. He is still celebrated to this day by the neo-Nazis.

Different initiative, same ideology

The NSF is yet another of many neo-Nazi initiatives surfacing from the ruins of initiatives that were once notorious in the Czech Republic. This particular one is an outgrowth of the National Resistance and the Workers' Youth, both of which attracted the most radical adherents of neo-Nazism and "renowned" street fighters.

"We are nationalists. If we actually are idealists and socialists, then we inevitably arrive at the third essential characteristic feature of our essence - nationalism. It is impossible to behave socially without national feeling, and it is therefore impossible to be a correct socialist without being a nationalist. One also cannot be a correct idealist without being both a nationalist and a socialist. We are members of a national movement fighting the slavery System, solely with a view to the future of our homeland and the Old Continent, which is dearer to our hearts than the banknotes in his wallet are to a system-mercenary. We are proud nationalists and we are organizing within the National and Social Front (NSF) so that the coming generation will not condemn us for not standing up to the destruction the System is introducing," the NSF writes of its ideology.

This is not the first time that the supporters of democracy have clashed with supporters of totalitarianism. The most intense clashes happened in 2017 and 2013.

In both cases the democrats blockaded the neo-Nazis' way. Those blockade events were attended by people from different parts of society, from academics at Masaryk University to organized anti-fascists.

František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Brno, Demonstrace, Extremism, Neo-Nazism



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