Czech Republic: Families of children targeted with online hate spend Christmas in the mountains thanks to generous donor
Children attending the Plynárenská Primary School in Teplice, Czech Republic are spending Christmas together with their families in the Krkonoše Mountains this year after hotelier Alexandr Bílek offered them a free stay in the resort town of Špindlerův Mlýn. The businessman decided to organize the gift because he disagrees with the racist attacks committed online against the children and their parents, and he wanted to make the situation more pleasant for them.
"After that unbelievably swinish campaign against the children in northern Bohemia we decided to do something to cheer up those who have to grapple with intolerance from those around them, who are not looking forward to Christmas, or who are afraid of it, or who just want to get away from such an unfriendly environment," Bílek told Deník.cz before the holiday. This is not the first time he has offered Christmas vacations for free to cheer people up.
Two years ago Bílek offered a Christmastime all-inclusive stay in his guesthouse to single mothers and their children as well as to others who did not have family with whom to spend the holiday. The intolerant, xenophobic online posts that were disseminated across social networks in the Czech Republic targeted the children attending the Teplice school after news server Denik.cz published a photo of its first-grade class at the start of the school year, something it has done for years.
Most of the children in the class are of either Arab or Romani heritage, and that fact apparently outraged a significant proportion of Czech society, which then posted ugly comments about them online including death threats. Subsequently, an enormous wave of support arose for the families of the first-graders from people who disagreed with the racist remarks made online.
ROMEA and other organizations also launched a fundraising campaign called "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!" to which more than 760 people have contributed more than CZK 450 000 [EUR 17 500] so far. Half of the funds raised will be sent to the school after the new year, while the other half will benefit the scholarship program for Romani students run by the ROMEA organization.
Another fundraising drive for the school was organized by Internet entrepreneur and journalist Patrick Zandl. That effort has raised CZK 590 000 [EUR 23 000].
- Czech court fines online racists a mere EUR 4 for death threats against Romani celebrity
- Czech film director supports fundraising drive "THEY WANT TO GAS THEM, WE WANT TO SEND THEM TO SCHOOL!"
- Czech sociologist: Racist online calls to gas children are unacceptable
- Czech racists threaten online to kill children because they are of Arab and Romani origin
- Marian Dancso: Socially excluded children are not participating in online instruction in the Czech Republic
- Chair of the Pirate Party in the Czech Republic stands up for Romani activist assaulted by hateful attackers
- Romani Union of Slovakia: Police brutality against children must be investigated by independent commission, the ministry could be biased
- Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for Romani Communities says she belives police brutality incident will be properly investigated, officer has been transferred
- Greece approves crisis fund for Romani settlements during COVID-19
- Czech Labor Minister tells ROMEA TV the crucial priority is to prevent mass unemployment because of COVID-19
- Romani residents of Czech town organize collection for child welfare NGO to fight COVID-19, dozens pitch in
- Romani residents of Czech housing estate thank those battling COVID-19 with hearts in windows
- Author raising a Romani child says Czech Public Defender of Rights is racist and evil is slowly winning
- Czech court returns to case of hate speech online targeting non-"white" first-graders
- Hungarian PM announces "national consultation" about whether to compensate Romani families whose children were educated in segregated settings
- Czech teachers disagree with proposal to deprive parents of children with high absenteeism of their social benefits