Czech Republic: Ultra-right anti-immigrant protests blockaded by 98 opponents who are detained
News server iDNES.cz reports that several hundred opponents of immigration who are also supporters of the right-wing extremist Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) gathered in Olomouc on Saturday afternoon to demonstrate against the reception of refugees and in favor of the Czech Republic leaving the European Union. A group of approximately 100 people protested against that assembly and expressed their support for receiving refugees.
Prior to the beginning of the anti-refugee event, a group of people began gathering on the square carrying signs that parodied the slogans used by those opposed to immigration, as well as signs protesting intolerance of migrants. The demonstrators carried banners and flags with the logo of the Czech Green Party and signs reading "I'm not afraid of refugees, I'm afraid of you", "The refugees are not to blame for the war", or "My parents were refugees and I'm proud of them", etc.
Both camps were kept away from each other by a cordon of riot police and for the most part only verbal attacks were perpetrated. Those opposed to refugee reception chanted "Druggie swine" or "Nothing but the nation" at the small group, along with much harsher epithets.
The supporters of refugee reception stuck mainly to using whistles in response. Police recorded two incidents during the DSSS assembly.
"During the event there were two incidents perpetrated by those opposed to the assembly. In the first case someone threw pyrotechnics (a smoke bomb) into the gathering. In the second case a youth pushed an amplifier off of its stand," Regional Police Spokesperson Josef Bednařík said.
"In connection with the first incident two persons were arrested and in connection with the second incident one person was arrested. All three youths were transferred to the district department for police processing. Both incidents are considered misdemeanors, one of misdemeanor property damange and one a misdemeanor offense against the right to assembly," the spokesperson said.
DSSS chair Vandas incited the crowd against receiving refugees but police officers did not respond to the content of his speeches at all, which included the following: "We do not wish for these immigrant parasites to start spreading like weeds in our beautiful country," the DSSS leader thundered before going on to attack those who support refugee reception. "We must remember who all of these people are once the day of reckoning comes" and "We will deport renegades to the outskirts of society" were some of the threats he uttered.
The route of the DSSS march that had been planned to take place after the assembly had to be altered because 100 opponents of the DSSS hate speech blockaded the march. "In connection with the march, the mass detention was performed of 98 persons opposed to the assembly who attempted to stop the course of the march on Opletalova Street, which they blockaded across its entire breadth and thereby committed a misdemeanor against the law on assembly," the police spokesperson said.
"A total of around 550 people participated in the assembly. There were 101 persons opposed to it. More than 100 police officers from all services and the municipal police were deployed," Bednařík concluded.
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