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Czech Green Party: Let's prevent violence on the streets of České Budějovice

České Budějovice, 13.7.2013 2:31, (ROMEA)

Representatives of the Green Party (Strana zelených - SZ) in the Czech Republic say the currently tense situation in České Budějovice is the responsibility of the town leadership, which for years has closed its eyes to growing problems, failed to address complaints and petty crime, and failed to assist any housing estate residents, Romani or otherwise. "The overcautious posturing of local leadership can best be seen in the fact that municipal representatives are now afraid to speak at the Romani demonstration and are trying to dissuade activists from convening anti-racist demonstrations. The town hall did not present any specific plan for improving the situation during the recent discussion convened by municipal representatives," said Bronislav Tomek of Jindřichův Hradec, who leads the SZ human rights section.

News server Romea.cz presents the press release of the Green Party below in full translation:


Green Party press release of 12 July 2013

The Greens are helping to resolve the conflict at the Máj housing estate. Both male and female Green Party members participated in both of the anti-racist demonstrations recently held in České Budějovice and in the debate convened by the municipality. We are and always have been on the side of those who reject racism and violence. We support the steps that will help the situation:  Dialogue, enhancing field social work, and the establishment of a settlement committee. 

"We are very familiar with the situation that led to the current disputes at the Máj housing estate. Romani residents have been evicted from the center of České Budějovice to a housing estate that has more concrete than greenery, not enough room for children and youth to play, and not enough room for Romani people to gather and hold cultural events," says Dana Kuchtová, a Green Party Presidium member for the South Bohemian Region.

The leadership of České Budějovice has closed its eyes for years to growing problems, failed to address complaints and petty crime, and failed to assist any housing estate residents, Romani or otherwise. "The overcautious posturing of local leadership can best be seen in the fact that municipal representatives are now afraid to speak at the Romani demonstration and are trying to dissuade activists from convening anti-racist demonstrations. The town hall did not present any specific plan for improving the situation during the recent discussion convened by municipal representatives," said Bronislav Tomek of Jindřichův Hradec, who leads the SZ human rights section.

The Greens are actively participating in resolving conflicts in České Budějovice. We have representatives on a commission to analyze the situation and propose solutions. We are also supporting activities by those local and national NGOs that are against extremist groups exploiting the situation.

"There is mainly a need to work at local level, through dialogue with those who want to take action together. We propose creating a settlement committee on V. Volf Street and involving those local citizens who are unafraid to express criticism and have also not joined the marches against Romani people. There is a need to map the situation and analyze local ideas, not sweep them under carpet - to seek solutions," says Green Party chair Ondřej Liška.

The Green Party advocates enhancing field social work and supporting organizations that actively work with children at the housing estate, such as the Salesians. "During the local elections we will be proposing the creation of cultural centers, playgrounds and other places where local people can meet and enjoy culture. Our aim is to support the employment of Romani people by firms and organizations with the participation of the town," says Karol Lesný, chair of the South Bohemian regional branch of the party. 

"The town leadership is right to say that České Budějovice has not yet become like the Chánov housing estate. However, it could easily turn into such a place if the citizens and politicians stay passive and silent. The Greens reject a black-and-white view of the world. We reject violence. We are actively contributing to resolving the situation in České Budějovice," says Dana Kuchtová.

press release of the Green Party of the Czech Republic, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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České Budějovice, Extremism, Neo-Nazism, Racism, sídliště Máj, Soužití, Spolky, Stěhování, Strana zelených, Tiskové zprávy, Volby, Aktivismus, Anticiganismus, diskuse, lidská práva, nepokoje, Občanská společnost, radnice, rasisticky motivovaný útok, Romové, Seleziáni, Šíření nenávisti a nesnášenlivosti, Czech republic, integration, Roma



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