Czech Republic: Neo-Nazi anti-Roma event in Duchcov a debacle
Approximately 40 neo-Nazis gathered today in the Czech town of Duchcov for an anti-Roma assembly there. Shortly after 15:00, those participating set out from the train station down Husova Street in the direction of Republika Square.
Priority of access to the square, however, had been granted to the Konexe association, and activists from the "Let's Block the Marches!" (Blokujeme!) platform, collaborating with the Museum of Roma Culture, held an exhibition about the Roma Holocaust there. The neo-Nazi provocation ended at around 17:00.
About 25 right-wing radicals compelted the march down Husova Street just before 16:00. Roughly 40 had originally set out from the train station, but some left the march along the way.
Neo-Nazis from the small "Czech Lions" group (Čeští lvi), who have broken away from the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS), organized today's event and have now suffered a heavy debacle. Unfortunately, the taxpayers paid no small amount of money for their trip today, because about 350 police officers monitored the course of the assembly, as did a police helicopter. Oldřich Zeman, the commander of today's security operation, reported on the number of officers on hand before the event was underway.
In addition to the "Czech Lions", activists with the "Let's Block the Marches!" (Blokujeme!) platform gathered in the town to support local Romani residents. They organized a cultural event, "Čhikatar het!" (Out of the mud!), which was attended by about 100 people, as well as the exhibit about the Roma Holocaust on the square.
The neo-Nazis had originally wanted to head to the square but were ultimately not permitted to march there. The right-wing extremists carried Czech flags in their procession and chanted "Bohemia for the Czechs" ("Čechy Čechům") and "Nothing but the nation" ("Nic než národ").
Before reaching the square, the marchers turned off of Husova Street into a parking lot to listen to speeches before the event was officially dispersed at around 17:00. Some went back to the train station, while a few set off for the square and viewed the Roma Holocaust exhibit there. (Maybe they at least reflected on their own actions a bit as a result.)
Mayor of Duchcov Jitka Bártová welcomed the news that so few right-wing radicals attended today's assembly. "I hope it's because people have understood that it won't resolve anything to join the ranks of those who convene such events and go shouting in the streets," Bártová said.
Today's anti-Roma event was the third this year in Duchcov. During the second such event in June, police intervened against the demonstrators using tear gas and water cannon.
Previous information reported by news server Romea.cz has now been further confirmed, namely, that the local DSSS cell in Duchcov boycotted this assembly because it has been convened by their rivals. The situation in the town of 9 000 came to a head this year after a group of Romani people brutally assaulted a married couple there in May.
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