Czech Police report low turnout for ultra-right event featuring speaker convicted of the racially-motivated murder of a Romani man
The ultra-right Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) called last week for a demonstration on Thursday 28 September, a state holiday. "Tomorrow, big action in Svitavy!!!" read its website on Wednesday, calling for what organizers said would be their "First St. Václav's Day Demonstration."
One of the main organizers of the event was Vlastimil Pechanec, the man who was convicted of the 2001 racially motivated murder of Otto Absolon, a member of the Romani community, in Svitavy itself. As it happened just a handful of ultra-right extremists turned out for the demonstration.
The event began at 14:00 at the local train station. It had been officially announced as a public protest "against lawlessness, present-day show trials, suppression and persecution of the pro-national opposition, corruption, the privileging of minorities, transnational capital and the neo-Marxist EU, and for safe streets and a new trial for Vlastimil Pechanec".
Just 35 DSSS supporters showed up. There were 25 antifascists on hand as well, and before police managed to intervene there were several minor physical conflicts between the two groups.
Led by DSSS chair Tomáš Vandas and Vlastimil Pechanec dressed in a suit coat and baseball cap, the demonstrators then set off on their march as the antifascists tagged along. Uniformed police officers accompanied the march and both riot units and undercover police were waiting for the marchers at their destination.
The antifascists shouted slogans at the march such as "Pechanec is a murderer". DSSS promoters vulgarly cursed the antifascists and chanted the slogan "Bohemia for the Czechs", etc.
Police did not let the antifascists onto the square that was the marchers' destination, allowing just the right-wing extremists to access it. Vandas gave a "classic" speech there verbally assaulting refugees, Roma, the EU, the Government, nonprofit organizations, etc.
Vlastimil Pechanec then spoke and the leader of the DSSS candidate list in the Pardubice Region, Marek Nechala, spoke also. After the speeches were done, the right-wing extremists were assisted by police with their return to the train station, where they waited for their train along with more riot units, and the entire "big action" came to an end.
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