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Czech Republic: Varnsdorf protest march canceled due to hot weather

Varnsdorf, 3.10.2011 8:45, (ROMEA)

Yesterday the second in a series of anti-Roma demonstrations in small towns in the Šluknov foothills started at 14:00 on E. Beneš Square. An estimated 150 people came out to listen to a speech by the organizer, convicted con artist Lukáš Kohout.

In his speech, Kohout evaluated the anti-Roma demonstration held on Saturday in Prague and praised the police for protecting the unannounced march from counter-protesters. Opponents of neo-Nazis and racism turned out in Prague to express their disagreement with Kohout's antics.

In Varnsdorf, police officers were on hand yesterday to supervise the demonstration, which was supposed to continue as a march. The route was announced as leading past the troubled Sport residential hotel, which houses Romani tenants, to the German border, and then returning to town past the home of Vice-Mayor Josef Poláček (Civic Democrats - ODS), who was mayor there for many years. Locals are most angry with him.

In the end, however, the meeting of the "Lukáš Kohout Fan Club" lasted less than an hour. Locals did not show great interest, so Kohout dispersed the gathering, saying it was too hot. The regular marching exercise which locals have engaged in for the past six weekends in a row did not take place this time.

ČTK, Gwendolyn Albert, Zdeněk Ryšavý, ryz, Czech Press Agency, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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