Czech neo-Nazis to hold another demonstration against Roma and the ROMEA organization
This coming Saturday a march by right-wing radicals is scheduled to begin at 14:00 in the Czech town of Plzeň. A counter-protest by the local initiative Plzeň against Racism (Plzeň proti rasismu) is also scheduled.
The Czech News Agency has reported that the local anti-racist group is calling for people to attend the protest gathering, which will take the form of a "happening" and will begin at 13:00 on Husovo Square, immediately adjacent to the neo-Nazi's announced march route. Police are preparing for both events and planning security measures, but for tactical reasons will not be publicizing the number of officers to be deployed - however, it can be presumed there will be hundreds in the streets.
"We believe it is not good to let this march happen without a response, because it could then be perceived as something normal in our society," the Plzeň against Racism platform posted to a social networking site. The group is organizing a protest gathering similar to last October's, when several dozen people assembled to demonstrate against another right-wing radical march.
The initiative said it will not place any restrictions on the forms of counter-protest. "We can draw on the sidewalk, play musical instruments, eat, dance, drink, sing, or block the path of the marchers...," the group has written.
More than 500 people have confirmed their attendance in the counter-protest through a social networking site. The "happening" has also been supported by an initiative called "We Don't Want Nazis in Plzeň" (V Plzni nácky nechceme).
The march by the right-wing radicals is scheduled to last from 14:00 until 17:00. The Czech News Agency reports that a well-informed sources says the person who announced the march to local authorities is Pavel Bittmann of Plzeň; a person of that same name has previously been convicted of promoting a movement aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms.
"We will be personally on the scene to follow what happens. Should the law be broken, we will proceed to disperse the assembly," Jiří Strobach, the mayor of the city's third municipal department, told the Czech News Agency previously.
Bittman told authorities he estimates the number of participants in his event will be 250. He announced it for the purpose of "upholding the rights of all decent citizens of this country and protesting the financing of the anti-Czech, racist ROMEA civic association by the Government of the Czech Republic."
Police say the marchers have announced their route as going from Republika Square down Františkánská and Martinská Streets through Americká and Tylová Streets to Emil Škoda Square. Police spokesperson Ivana Telekešová says the police are preparing for both events and will be deploying members of the Aliens Police, canine units, the criminal investigation services, emergency units, riot units, and traffic police.
In the past, hundreds of police have been deployed during similar marches, including a helicopter and heavy technology such as water cannon. No long-term street closures are planned, but parking will be banned in several places.
Telekešová says parking will be banned on the Denisovo Embankment, where signs have already been posted, on Tylová Street near the Škoda building, and near the mass transit stops on Emil Škoda Square. Marches by right-wing extremists in Plzeň take place rather frequently; the most recent anti-Romani event occurred last 28 October and was attended by several dozen right-wing radicals only.
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