Czech Republic: Neo-Nazis take to the streets in three towns after winter break
Police in Příbram are preparing for an assembly on Saturday, 15 February by neo-Nazis who say they want to "draw attention to the upholding of rights" and express their disagreement with financing for the ROMEA organization. The event will be monitored by a police anti-conflict team, canine units, and riot control units.
Other neo-Nazi events are also scheduled for Karlovy Vary and Ostrava tomorrow. The assembly in Příbram is scheduled for 14:00 on T. G. Masaryk Square.
The Příbram town hall says the event has been convened by Pavel Matějný and Jana Tvrdá of the town of Chotěbuz. According to online sources, Matějný is a former Workers' Party member who is now a functionary in the new "Czech Lions" (Čeští lvi) group.
It was Matějný in particular who sparked the biggest brawls with police last year in the town of Duchcov. His name is also linked to recent violence in Ostrava and Přerov.
"We have another announcement from the Konexe association. Their events should be taking place between 14 February and 14 July from 8:00 to 22:00 daily," said Monika Schindlová, spokesperson for the Příbram police.
"The aim of our assembly is to reduce tensions on the day of this hateful demonstration, to express solidarity with the occupants of the residential hotels, and to distract the children, who usually suffer most during such situations," activists from the Konexe organization said. "Should the anti-Romani assembly, which has been announced as taking place on the town square, deteriorate into an unannounced march on the residential hotels, we will remain in place. Through our assembly, we hope to prevent a situation in which anti-Romani demonstrators will be chanting anti-Romani slogans directly beneath the windows of the residential hotels."
Local police are not able to estimate how many right-wing radicals will make it to Saturday's demonstration in Příbram, but they are preparing for the event. "There will be a sufficient amount of equipment and forces deployed to secure public order," Schindlová said.
Police are considering whether to deploy a helicopter along with the municipal police force units who will join their state police colleagues. Ondřej Šlechtický, spokesperson for the town hall, said earlier that the event will be dispersed should there be any indications of or problems with racist behavior or conduct.
Another neo-Nazi event, allegedly a memorial march called "Light for Dresden", will take place on 15 February in Karlovy Vary, where neo-Nazis from the Czech Republic and Germany are convening an assembly on the anniversary of the Allied bombing of Dresden in 1945. People intend to stand up to the neo-Nazis there as well.
"Come express your disagreement with the neo-Nazi march," reads the invitation of the We Don't Want Nazis in Karlovy Vary (Nácky v Karlových Varech nechceme) initiative. The assembly against the neo-Nazis is to start there on T. G. Masaryk Avenue at 15:30.
Czech state police are prepared for tomorrow's events in Karlovy Vary. Regional Police spokesperson Pavel Valenta said the police will ensure supervision over the maintaining of public order.
In Ostrava, meanwhile, Saturday's demonstration is being convened by an "affiliated" branch of the Worker's Social Justice Party, the so-called Workers' Youth. The gathering is an annual event meant to lament developments in the Balkans.
"This year it will be six years since NATO, in collaboration with Albanian terrorists, succeeded in taking the southern Serbian province of Kosovo away from the Serbian motherland. Six years on, this tragic event remains topical. Just as they did in Kosovo, today the USA and its allies are using fanatical throat-cutters to promote their imperialist interests," the neo-Nazis write online.
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