Czech Police charge two men with rioting during neo-Nazi demo
Czech Police have charged two men over their participation in a scuffle Monday between supporters of the right-wing extremist Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) and students in Brno. Andrea Straková, spokesperson for the South Moravian Regional Police, told the Czech News Agency yesterday that if convicted, the men face up to two years in prison.
Straková said one of those charged is a DSSS supporter who reportedly provoked a physical conflict with another man. Several smaller scuffles occurred in Brno on Monday during the demonstration.
Police arrested three people and then charged two of them. "Our investigation of the facts revealed that an injured 34-year-old participant from the Workers' Youth (which collaborates with the DSSS) randomly provoked a conflict with a man one year younger than him from the counter-march," Straková said.
The Workers' Youth supporter ended up with scratches on his face after the conflict. As the 50 right-wing radicals were listening to speakers at the spa in the Novy sady park Monday, more than 500 students headed towards them from the direction of the Denisový Orchards shouting anti-Fascist slogans.
Police intervened once both groups were dangerously close to one another, separated by only a few meters, and the more aggressive participants started to run at their counterparts. Ultimately police managed to de-escalate what was incipient conflict between the two sides.
Vlastimil Pechanec, who was convicted of the racially motivated murder of a Romani man, Otto Absolon, in the town of Svitavy more than a decade ago, was one of a small group of aggressive neo-Nazis active on Monday. Pechanec was released early from prison on probation this past June, cutting short his original sentence of 17 years.
Monday's student demonstration against the neo-Nazis was convened by the "It Doesn't End with November" movement beneath the statue of the first president of an independent Czechoslovakia, T.G. Masaryk, on Komenského Square. The students expressed their objection to totalitarian regimes and ideas such as those presented by the DSSS, and also voiced their support for democracy.
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