Czech national holiday to see protests against President's remarks about Roma and other minorities
On Saturday, 17 November 2018 at 13:00 on Hradčanské náměstí in front of Prague Castle and at the statue of the first Czecholslovak President, T. G. Masaryk, a protest meeting called "Jdeme do toho! [Let's Do It!] Me Džav a So Tumen Avena?" Those attending will be expressing disagreement with Czech President Zeman's recent appearances and manipulative remarks about Romani people.
The event was initiated by Miroslav Rusenko of the Romani Democratic Party (RDS). ROMEA TV will broadcast the demonstration live.
"Romani people and others of good will are going to assemble for this event to express the fact that they have had enough. We want to clearly demonstrate that it is not possible to tolerate this defamation, humiliation of human dignity, racist insults, lies and the dissemination of xenophobic hatred. The President of our country is spreading hatred wherever he goes and he is dividing the citizens," Rusenko told news server Romea.cz.
"We're all going into this, so don't be afraid to speak up, let's stop him before it's too late. It's necessary to get him out, to demand a public apology for his remarks about Czech Roma, people who are a part of this country and society! His anti-Romani, populist, deceptive remarks incite the broader public to take hateful, xenophobic positions," Rusenko's official declaration says as to what led him to organize the protest action.
That demonstration will be followed another event at the same location. The second protest is called "Against lies and hatred" and is a joint production of the Pulse of Europe initiative and the Against Hate Speech initiative (Proti projevům nenávisti).
Organizers describe the reasons they are holding that event as part of the Festival of Freedom 2018 in their official statement as follows:
"Miloš Zeman, despite his oath of office, is again encouraging hatred and offending hundreds of thousands of inhabitants of this country. He is attacking educated people, refugees, the physically disabled, nonprofits and especially strongly recently, he has attacked Romani people.
Andrej Babiš is driven by a similar policy, rejecting solidarity with the EU in the area of migration and attacking the common border guard services. He is attacking refugees, refusing the UN's migration pact, which has been signed by most countries, and defending Hungarian PM Orbán's authoritarian, xenophobic regime.
17 November is the day when Czechoslovak students - and not only they - stood up against totalitarian ideologies and their propaganda, first in 1939 and then again in 1989, when they were brave enough to say that the truth remains true and lies are lies no matter how we dress them up. You can repeat a lie one hundred times and it will never become the truth.
17 November is the day of our fight for freedom. President Miloš Zeman, through his behavior, is intentionally dividing society.
Andrej Babiš seeks votes with the aid of xenophobia. We reject these politics of hate and lies.
We do not want the President of our state to divide society and insult many citizens of the Czech Republic. We do not want to turn our country, along with Andrej Babiš, into an egotistical, hateful little country in the eyes of Europe and the world.
We want to be part of a democratic, humanistic Europe. For that reason we have come together on 17 November 2018 - as the majority, as Romani people, as activists, as citizens, as non-disabled and disabled people - to say "NO" to this dividing of the nation, to say "NO" to hatred and lies, and in the spirit of 17 November, to say "YES" to love and truth."
- Commentary: Czech President Zeman's racism and Romani people
- Monika Mihaličková: Czech President should take a look in the mirror and give himself a slap - "gypsy" is an insulting term
- Czech President's erroneous remarks about school inclusion criticized by experts
- Czech Constitutional Court president: Ethnic and national self-centeredness and xenophobia are a threat to Europe
- Roma Pride march on 100th anniversary of the founding of Czechoslovakia will object to President's antigypsyism
- ROMEA declines invitation to Czech Television's debate program on Czech President's remarks because of its sensationalism
- ROMEA to Czech President: Romani life in communist Czechoslovakia included forced assimilation, forced sterilization of women, segregated education
- Czech politicians respond to President's antigypsyism: He divides us so we won't unite against him
- Czech sociologist refutes President's allegations about Romani unemployment, agrees with ROMEA
- Czech President insults Romani people yet again after casting his ballot
- ROMEA: Czech President has manipulated facts yet again - we can prove 70 % of Romani people in this country work
- MEP Soraya Post supports Romani photo campaign responding to Czech President's antigypsyist remarks
- European Roma flood Facebook with hundreds of photos of themselves at work, tell Czech President to stop insulting them
- Disagree with the Czech President's antigypsyism? ERRC makes it easy to email him
- European Roma Rights Centre: Czech President's remarks were antigypsyist hate speech
- Czech President alleges Romani people "do not want to work" and that "slapping them" is the best way to deal with them
- Czech President verbally assails residential hotel evictees, supports city's move to abolish housing benefits entirely
- Czech President's staff criticize inclusion of "Freedom and Direct Democracy" party in extremism report
- Czech President pushing Czech PM into Government with right-wing extremists
- Czech President Zeman re-elected
- Roma take to the streets to show political preferences on Czech state holiday
- Czech celebration of Veterans' Day featured honor guard in SS uniform and speech calling for opponents of President to hang themselves
- Right-wing extremists supporting Czech President blocked from marching through Prague's Jewish Town on 17 November
- Czech Republic: Hundreds protest the President's politics
- In echo of totalitarian past, 60 Czech MPs want anybody "defaming" the President to serve a year in prison
- UN High Commissioner for Human Rights criticizes populists, including Czech President
- Czech President rejects all migrants, EU Commissioner says he is mocking the law
- Czech President calls DSSS party neo-Nazis, they say he parrots them on issue of migrants
- Opponents of Czech President reserve historically significant location to honor the democratic transition this November
- Czech President says he vetoed education amendment because of inclusion
- Zeljko Jovanovic: Low COVID-19 immunization rate among the European Roma is the result of decades of government neglect
- Czech President signs law to compensate the victims of illegal sterilizations
- Dozens of Roma protest in front of restaurant in Czech town after food server allegedly assaults a Romani woman, police are investigating
- Assembly against discrimination and racism in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic attended mostly by Romani people
- Kosovo: Demonstrators call for investigation into the death of Stanislav Tomáš, who died in police custody in Teplice
- Roma Lives Matter demo in Czech capital hears eyewitness testimony that Stanislav Tomáš was carried motionless on a stretcher into the ambulance
- European capitals see unprecedented wave of solidarity with Czech Roma and protests over the death of Stanislav Tomáš
- Czech capital to see demonstration for Stanislav Tomáš today expressing disagreement with police intervention and support for local community
- Zeljko Jovanovic: The New Roma Politics of Self-Determination and Unity
- Czech churches condemn those wearing yellow Stars of David at anti-vaxxer events, call on them to apologize
- Czech Federation of Jewish Communities: Yellow Star of David at Prague demonstration is textbook abuse and relativization of a Holocaust symbol
- Czech capital sees demonstration in support of Trump and against COVID-19 pandemic suppression measures by the same extremists who march against the Roma