Czech Republic: Neo-Nazis to march on state holiday Monday
Neo-Nazis are scheduled to march through several towns in the Czech Republic on the state holiday Monday, including Ostrava and Plzeň, where they are expected to march through the Bory quarter. Police spokesperson Jana Tomková told the Czech News Agency yesterday that police are preparing security measures involving the Aliens' Police, an anti-conflict team, canine units, criminal investigators, riot police and traffic police.
Civic initiatives and individuals are using social networking sites to call on locals to counter-protest by assembling and expressing their disagreement with neo-Nazism and racism. Police have not discussed the extent of the expected march or the police measures.
"The forces to be deployed, the police methods to be used, the planned numbers, arms and equipment of the police officers and the deployment of other technology correspond to the information we have available to us at this time about the event," Tomková said. According to Jiří Mužík, the clerk for the centrally-located municipal department where the event will take place, the march should be attended by between 200 and 300 people.
The event was announced to authorities by a resident of the Plzeň area and is called a "Protest against violating the rights of decent citizens of the Czech Republic and against privileging one group of people". The march should take place from 14:00 - 17:00.
The planned route for the march in Plzeň will begin at Emil Škoda Square and lead down Tylova Street, Husovo Square, Koperníkova Street, Němejcova Street, Českých bratří Square, Mánesova Street, Čermákova Street, Na Hvězdě Street, then head back down Schwarzova Street through Českých bratří Square, Němejcova Street and end up again on Emil Škoda Square, according to police. Emotions have reportedly barely calmed down in the town after the most recent neo-Nazi march through Plzeň this past summer.
A Facebook page called "Plzeň Against Racism" has announced that "Neo-Nazis want to march through the streets of Plzeň once more on 28 October." Initiators of the counter-protest, which roughly 100 people have confirmed their attendance of online, are planning a big picnic.
"We propose meeting up on Husovo Square for a creative and pleasant afternoon to contrast with the hateful racist march," the Facebook page reads. Those attending are planning to bring drawing materials, musical instruments and refreshments.
Another parade will also be marching through the town on Monday as part of official celebrations of the state holiday and the 95th anniversary of the emergence of the state of Czechoslovakia. At 17:30 a celebratory assembly is planned to take place on T.G. Masaryk Square, with a subsequent "march of lights" along Klatovská Avenue to Republika Square; the routes of the two different marches should not intersect.
A right-wing extremist march was last held in Plzeň in August. The anti-Romani event was attended by about 150 right-wing radicals and their supporters.
As many as 250 people protested against that demonstration along its march route. Police prevented confrontations and kept the two groups apart, arresting almost 30 people, most of them counter-protesters.
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