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January 25, 2015
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Czech Republic: Brno city councilors condemn international neo-Nazi march on 1 May

Brno, 5.4.2011 19:55, (ROMEA)
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Brno city councilors have passed a resolution condemning a parade that has been announced for 1 May in Brno by the Workers' Youth (Dělnická mládež - DM). The city council resolution openly states that the march is being organized by neo-Nazis and that it will be a "hate action against members of national minorities living in Brno" which aims to "spark conflicts, fear and tension".

The extremists have announced the parade for two separate routes, both of which were rejected by local authorities. A court, however, overturned those decisions. The city is therefore preparing for the march to take place.

The conveners of the march have officially called it a Labor Day celebration, but Martin Ander (Green Party - SZ), a city councilor and head of the city's Committee for National Minorities, has said it will be a rally by neo-Nazis from all over Central Europe. Moreover, the march means Brno will become the setting for such an enterprise for the third time in the last four years. "The web pages of Czech neo-Nazis and their illegal organization, National Resistance (Národní odpor - NO) are investing a lot of energy in calling on all promoters of neo-Nazism, including those abroad, to come to Brno on 1 May," Ander said.

The march has also been rejected by an initiative called "We Don't Want Neo-Nazis in Brno" (V Brně neonacisty nechceme). On its web pages, that group is calling on residents of Brno to join their initiative and to hang banners and posters against the neo-Nazi march on their balconies, on notice boards, and in the windows of their homes and shops.

On 1 May the initiative will hold a symbolic cultural protest event featuring performances by jugglers, non-Roma and Roma bands, spoken word artists, theater ensembles, and various personalities. There will also be arts workshops for parents with children, games, and snacks. "All organizers and performers are contributing to the program for free as volunteers. The place and program is being prepared. Follow our web page for news!" the organizers write.

The Municipal Police previously expressed their opposition to the neo-Nazi action for security reasons and proposed a change to the route of the march. The transport authority also expressed disagreement with it due to the necessity to restrict traffic, as did the state police, the city transport department, and the Brno-sever district's municipal authority. There are concerns that groups of people will clash because one of the announced march routes leads through the so-called "Bronx" of Brno, where many Roma people live.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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