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Czech Republic: Anti-Romani march on Hitler’s birthday is a fiasco

Ústí nad Labem, 21.4.2013 15:30, (ROMEA)
The Facebook invitation to the anti-Romani march through the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic on 20 April 2013.
The Facebook invitation to the anti-Romani march through the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem in the Czech Republic on 20 April 2013.

Yesterday’s attempted march against Romani people in the Předlice quarter of Ústí nad Labem can be described as an enormous fiasco. The demonstration, convened by Josef Bareš on the 124th anniversary of Adolf Hitler’s birth, was attended by one person. However, it has cost the state and the taxpayers no small amount of money, as about 70 police officers were deployed to the radical event.

"Police measures are necessary, you never know if it might be a pretext for something else,” one of the police officers present told the Ústí regional daily. “It can always happen that suddenly one or two busloads of radicals show up.”

The organizer called the demonstration a “March against Inadaptables” (Pochod proti nepřizpůsobivým). The announcement to the local government lists the place of the demonstration as Předlice. According to a Facebook invitation featuring the logo of the Workers’ Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) and many crude expressions, the event was supposed to have started at 13:00 at the Západní train station and was supposed to have passed through Tovární and Hrbovická streets to Školní square and back before ending at 14:30. In reality the event ended after just 15 minutes and only Bareš was there.

In his announcement of the event to the local government, Bareš expected 100 – 120 participants to attend. However, only one person confirmed his attendance on Facebook prior to the event, and even he did not show up, leaving Bareš alone at the scene.

The Konexe civic association is criticizing the relevant town representatives for not informing the residents of Předlice about the planned march with sufficient advance notice. "The town of Ústí nad Labem has once against chosen a maximally paternalistic strategy. The town leader decided not to inform the Romani residents of Předlice, the targets of this hate march, that it would be happening – why scare Romani people unnecessarily in advance when they won’t understand it anyway? The result of this is that trust in the town leadership and majority-society institutions has fallen to an historic low in Předlice,” representatives of Konexe said.

"The Romani community did not find out about this march until Friday evening. Local residents did not have enough time to decide what to do should anti-Romani demonstrators show up in front of their buildings. At moments of time pressure and great stress, advocates of short-sighted solutions and hotheads often gain the upper hand,” Miroslav Brož of Konexe told news server Romea.cz. "If the relevant authorities had the information that very few people would be attending the march, they should have shared that information with the residents. The situation would not have been as stressful for them as it was with no information.”

ROMEA, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Dělnická mládež, DSSS, neonacista, Czech republic, Extremism, Ghetto, History, Internet, Konexe, o. s., Neo-Nazism, news, Předlice, Racism, Roma



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