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Czech Republic: Anti-immigrant, Islamophobic protest in Prague

1.7.2015 17:41
Several hundred people demonstrated in Prague on 30 June 2015 against receiving refugees in the Czech Republic. (PHOTO:  Romea.cz)
Several hundred people demonstrated in Prague on 30 June 2015 against receiving refugees in the Czech Republic. (PHOTO: Romea.cz)

Several hundred people demonstrated yesterday in Prague against the Czech Republic receiving refugees. Their claim is that the recent decision of the Czech Government to 

voluntarily receive several hundred migrants is a "dirty trick".

The "Anti-Islam Bloc", which convened the demonstration together with the "We Don't Want Islam in the Czech Republic" movement, plans to run candidates in next year's regional elections. About 30 counter-protesters also turned out, with some even throwing eggs at a speaker addressing the demonstration.

Those opposed to receiving migrants expressed their greatest disagreement with Czech PM Bohuslav Sobotka (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) and his coalition government for supporting the voluntary reception of refugees after rejecting mandatory quotas for redistribution of asylum-seekers throughout the EU at a summit in Brussels last week. Martin Konvička, chair of the "Anti-Islam Bloc", compared the PM to a Czech literary figure depicted in comic books as a swindler.

"From my perspective this guy has played us a dirty trick," Konvička declared. Other speakers at the event expressed themselves similarly, including several MPs with the opposition "Dawn of Direct Democracy" (Úsvit) movement.

"Optional quotas are a dirty trick against the citizens of the Czech Republic," said Czech MP Marek Černoch, chair of Úsvit's club in the lower house, according to whom the EU should return migrants to their native countries and help them there instead of inviting them to Europe. His colleague Karel Fiedler said the Czech Republic should completely shut its borders against "illegal refugees".

Demonstrators carried banners reading "Support for Muslim immigration is not humanism, but treason", "Stop the Islamic State invasion of Europe" and "Sobotka, don't take the country from our children". The small group of counter-protesters carried posters reading "We Don't Want Nazis in the Czech Republic", "I will receive them", and "Refugees welcome, racists go home"; some verbally assaulted the anti-immigrant demonstrators, but no incidents occurred between the two groups of protesters during the demonstration.  

Someone did throw two eggs at Jana Volfová, chair of the Czech Sovereignty movement, when she was at the speakers' podium, one of which hit her pants. She called on police to intervene but otherwise took the "attack" in good humor.  

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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actions, Demonstrace, Islamofobie, Praha



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