Czech Republic: Anti-Romani demonstration a fiasco, ultra-right duped by their opponents
The Czech town of Děčín has experienced yet another anti-Romani demonstration, this time under the baton of the right-wing extremists from the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS). The last hateful demonstration prior to this one in Děčín was organized by the notorious con artist Lukáš Kohout on Wednesday, 13 August.
Very few people turned out on the town square for today's demonstration. Activists from the Konexe organization were there to support local Roma and news server Romea.cz followed the situation in Děčín online in real time:
17:24 - The organizers of the DSSS assembly in Děčín have apparently been duped, just like con artist Lukáš Kohout was with respect to his assembly on the 13th. When advertising the event, the organizers shared a link online to the "Safe Děčín" (http://zabezpecnydecin.webnode.cz/) website - which was actually established by their opponents. Yesterday the disinformation was posted there that the Saturday event was being postponed until next week. "We recommend that the DSSS and other fools like them not organize anything ever again if they're this incompetent!" that website now reads. The site is now also publishing copies of the confused communications taking place among the right-wing extremists on Facebook, some of whom are expressing their disgust with the amateurism of the DSSS.
16:37 - Between 30 and 40 people are now standing in front of the residential hotel on Zelená Street. They include Romani tenants of the residential hotel and pro-Romani activists who have come to support them. "Police officers are also visible here. There are two police, two riot police vans, and a police tracking vehicle," our reporter on the scene describes the situation.
16:24 - "The saddest moment for me was when I saw six boys whom I had coached in football for several years protesting against Romani people on the square," Ladislav Horváth, founder of Děčín's football club, told news server Romea.cz when he returned to the residential hotel on Zelená Street from the square.
16:08 - "The DSSS promoters include about 10 radical neo-Nazis. They are leaving the square and heading down Čs. legií Street, accompanied by a division of riot police," our correspondent reports from the scene.
15:59 - The right-wing extremists' demonstration on Mírové náměstí is over.
15:51 - Those opposed to the DSSS are holding a discussion with Petr Žák even as they must be protected by a line of police officiers. "Disperse this race hatred rally!" one of the opponents says to Žák.
15:44 - Petr Žák of the "No to Brussels - National Democracy" party (Ne Bruselu - Národní demokracie), which closely collaborates with the right-wing extremists from the DSSS, is speaking at the assembly just as he did at the last such gathering.
15:39 - Opponents of the neo-Nazis are on the square. Police must protect them. They are holding a banner that says "Hate is No Solution" (Nenávist není řešení). Their number is practically the same as that of the DSSS supporters.
15:32 - DSSS chair Tomáš Vandas has given his traditional hateful speech in which he has once again repeated his usual phrases and attacked Romani people. He has once again repeated his lies claiming that Romani people receive special welfare and draw benefits that "white" Czechs are not entitled to.
15:20 - The DSSS assembly has begun on Mírové náměstí. At the most there are 40 DSSS promoters on the scene. Their opponents have also arrived and have been whistling during the beginning of the demonstration.
15:18 - The residential hotel on Zelená Street is being watched by municipal police. Two police cars are on the scene. About five crime prevention assistants are speaking with the residents and calming them down. The children are supposed to leave the street and stay inside. About 10 people remain outside. Activists from pro-Romani organizations (e.g., Konexe, Socialist Solidarity) are heading toward the square where the DSSS assembly is underway.
15:15 - Mírové náměstí in Děčín is still empty. It seems this is an enormous fiasco for the right-wing extremists from the DSSS.
15:00 - The DSSS assembly was advertised as beginning now on Mírové náměstí. "There are about 10 people here, some with DSSS flags. The numbers for now are very low," our correspondent reports.
14:57 - About 40 people have gathered in front of the residential hotel on Zelená Street in Děčín. The situation is calm. "Two police officers have just arrived, there is a member of the anti-conflict team here too. Nothing is going on," our correspondent on the scene reports.
10:00 - "The Workers' Social Justice Party (DSSS) has decided to listen to the requests of the citizens of Děčín who want to convene a protest rally in response to the increasing number of crimes being committed by inadaptable citizens. The rally will take place on Saturday 23 August at 15:00 on Mírové náměstí," the Facebook profile of the DSSS party reads. However, another website inviting people to the event that, one that has been linked to by the chair of the DSSS cell in the town of Duchcov, Jindřich Svoboda, says the assembly has been postponed to next Sunday. It is, therefore, a question how many people will show up with the organization so confused. The last such assembly, convened by the con artist Lukáš Kohout, also grappled with organizational confusion and saw a turnout of about 200 people. News server Romea.cz is informed that, just as during that event, activists from various pro-Romani organizations will be providing support to local Romani people today as well. The Konexe organization is holding an assembly in front of a residential hotel there.
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