Czech Republic: Ostrava town hall bans one neo-Nazi march, another will go forward
The Municipal Department of Moravská Ostrava a Přívoz has banned an assembly and march planned for Saturday, 24 August by neo-Nazis because an assembly of Romani people was previously announced for the same places at the same time. Municipal department spokesperson Jana Pondělíčková informed the Czech News Agency of the decision today.Another assembly by right-wing radicals will evidently go forward in Ostrava on that same day, as it was announced for different locations than the Romani march.
An event entitled "Protest against crime, against law-breaking by the Police of the Czech Republic, and for the rights of all decent citizens of this country" was announced to the authorities for 14:30 on 24 August by Pavel Matějný on behalf of the "Czech Lions" (Čeští lvi) group, which recently organized a protest with the same theme in Vítkov (Opava district). The Ostrava march was to have started at Partyzánské Square and to have continued along Sokolská and Nádražní Streets to Českobratrská Street. The local authority received the announcement of the event yesterday afternoon and banned it today.
"The convener was alerted of the fact that this assembly collides with a previously announced one. The conveners of the overlapping events are known to be of completely opposing ideas and opinions, which leads to the justifiable belief that the peaceful course of both assemblies will be disrupted. The conveners were not able to reach agreement on their own, and we have therefore decided to ban the second assembly," Pondělíčková said.
Two Romani assemblies entitled "For peace between people" are announced in Ostrava for 24 August starting at 8 AM. One will take place in the Přívoz quarter near Svatopluk Čech Square, the other will start on Prokešovo Square in front of the New Town Hall, from which the march will lead through the centrally-located municipal department to Přednádraží Street. From 6 AM until 22:00 an "Assembly against racial, ethnic and religious intolerance" has also been announced for 15 squares and streets throughout the municipal department.
Right-wing radicals have been permitted to hold a demonstration entitled "Stop racial attacks" on 24 August from 14:00 until 16:00 at the monument in the Komenský Orchards (Komenský sady). However, on the same day a protest called "Together against gypsy terror and police brutality" has been called for by the neo-Nazi movement "Svobodný odpor" ("Free Resistance") on its website without giving details of an exact place or time.
The Czech Lions listed an assembly in Ostrava as part of their "Czech Lion Tour". They also intend to hold a similar march in the fall in other towns in the Moravian-Silesian Region, namely, Havířov and Bohumín (Karvina district) and Frýdek-Místek. However, the town halls of Frýdek-Místek and Havířov banned those marches out of concern that they will disrupt public safety. The march in Bohumín has been allowed.
"They announced the streets to us down which they wanted to march. We suggested a different route to them so we could maintain order and they accepted the change," said Miroslava Šmídová, the head of the Organizational Department at the Bohumín town hall.
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