Czech, Polish and Slovak neo-Nazis protest migrants in Ostrava, target Roma area - 63 right-wing extremists detained
Two demonstrations were held in the center of Ostrava today, one in support of receiving refuguees and against xenophobia, and the other, organized by football hooligans and neo-Nazis, against receiving refugees. After both events were officially ended, some anti-immigrant demonstrators attempted to make their way into the Přívoz quarter, where many Romani people live.
Police detained more than 60 right-wing extremists after the demonstrations. Starting at 14:00 today, approximately 50 people in favor of receiving refugees first gathered near the fountain at the Elektra transportation stop on Nádražní Street.
The "Wake Up the Houses" (Probuď domy) initiative, in collaboration with the ProAlt initiative, organized an assembly called "Colorful Ostrava - Let's Stop Hatred" in response to the growing wave of xenophobia in Czech society. Participants in the gathering were able to taste Arabian food and listen to Arabian music.
"We believe there is a need to say an unequivocal 'NO' to the efforts of the populists and radicals to exploit the social and societal frustration of people in order to gain power and restrict our civil rights. Two years ago the pretext for their aggressive actions was a Roma-related issue, now it's refugees. The essence of these actions and the motivation of their organizers, however, remain the same," Ondřej Marek of the ProAlt branch in Opava and Ostrava explained before the demonstration got underway.
At 15:00 a mixture of Baník Ostrava and GKS Katowice football hooligans, extremists from the Slovak Solidarity party, neo-Nazis and some so-called ordinary people assembled on Masaryk Square. Speakers from the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia warned against an "unmanaged invasion of immigrants."
Just after 16:00, when the anti-immigrant hate demonstration was officially ended, the hardcore neo-Nazis set off in the direction of the Přívoz quarter. Local Romani residents were their target.
According to news server Novinky.cz, some gave the Nazi salute along the way and chanted slogans like "White Bohemia" or "Bohemia for the Czechs". The neo-Nazis made it to just in front of Svatopluk Čech Square, where they attempted to flee the riot police who had been monitoring their march.
Police intervened against the neo-Nazis, gradually detaining more than 60. Riot officers led them away with their hands above their heads and asked them for their identification.
"Traffic was seriously disrupted and we detained 63 persons on suspicion of a misdemeanor," Regional Police spokesperson Gabriela Holčáková told news server iDNES.cz. "We have determined their identities and released most of them on the spot - two people were taken to the station."
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