Czech Republic: Neo-Nazi march vs. cultural assembly this weekend in Duchcov
On Saturday 22 June an assembly and cultural program called "Čhikatar het/Z bahna ven" ("Out of the Mud") will take place in the North Bohemian town of Duchcov. The purpose of the assembly is to improve relations between neighbors in the town and to support the local community. The Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) has announced an anti-Roma gathering and march on that same day in Duchcov.
"Our assembly is intended for everyone who disagrees with applying the principle of collective guilt, who disagrees with hate, and who disagrees with the hateful anti-Romani demonstrations and marches, everyone who believes there is a need to improve relations between neighbors in Duchcov," says Ivanka Mariposa Čonková, spokesperson for the event. "The local and non-resident participants in our assembly will also enjoy a rich cultural program with performances by Czech, Romani and international bands. We are also preparing activities for children. For us probably the most important thing is what memories of this day will remain with the children."
Call for assistance
Preparations of the event as a whole are currently underway. Organizers of the "Čhikathar het" assembly have put out a call to artists and people from civil society to support the assembly.
"We are turning to you all with a request for assistance and support with a heavy matter. There is a need to take action to improve the situation of coexistence and relations between the majority society and Romani people in North Bohemia. Hate is once again on the rise, neo-Nazis and racists have already announced hateful anti-Romani marches, and for the first time, they are also publicly acknowledging that the aim of these marches is to increase tensions so the marches will turn into anti-Roma pogroms. The current tensions and the wave of hate have already sparked several sad incidents... We are therefore asking everyone who has enough courage, good will and resources to support our assembly. We are calling for support from everyone this might concern - active individuals, institutions, and nonprofits. The degree of your involvement can vary: You can support our assembly by attending and come to Duchcov, you can offer financial or organizational help, and you can join our call by signing it," the organizers write in their call to action.
Collective blame once more
According to the organizers, many local Romani residents of Duchcov have recently experienced the principle of collective blame being applied to them ever since the recent so-called "Duchcov attack" and they very much welcome the upcoming event. "We are afraid - now it's all the same who was fighting whom or what exactly happened, the situation is being blamed on all Romani people, and the children are bearing the brunt of it. My children ask me every day about that last demonstration, about what happened here, what the explosions, the riot police, and the skinheads were all about. What am I supposed to tell them?" local Romani resident Marie H. of Duchcov asks.
The "Čhikathar het" assembly is being organized by the Konexe civic association together with the informal civic initiative Hate is No Solution (Nenávist není řešení). Konexe has announced for several months in advance that the location of its assemblies will be the streets of Duchcov where most Romani people live.
By occupying these sites, the association wants to prevent neo-Nazis from legally holding anti-Romani marches in Duchcov directly in Romani neighborhoods. The public assembly and cultural program of "Čhikathar het" will take place on 22 June 2013 starting at 11:00 AM on Nádražní Street in Duchcov.
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