Czech Republic: Workers' Youth extremists to complicate weekend in Jihlava
The upcoming march this Saturday march by right-wing extremists from the Workers' Youth (Dělnická mládež) in Jihlava is expected to disrupt traffic, which will be restricted along the march route. It will not be possible to use the hall at the bus station and or to park on náměstí Svobody. Regional police spokesperson Dana Čírtková told the Czech Press Agency that police would be deploying special forces units and a helicopter.
The convener of the march, which was officially announced in support of Serbia and against the violent breakaway of Kosovo, estimated about 150 people would attend. The event is announced as lasting from 12:00 to 20:00, with participants planning to meet at the bus station in Jiráskova street at 14:00. "There is no legal reason not to permit the march, no other event was announced at that same time," Jihlava town hall spokesperson Radek Tulis told the Czech Press Agency.
Some residents of Jihlava have called for a blockade of the extremists' march. "We don't want the neo-Nazis to move a single step away from their meeting point, we want their speeches to be drowned out by our powerful 'NO' telling them we don't want Nazis in Jihlava," the website of the blockade reads.
Tulis, however, said the town hall has not received an official announcement from any other organization of another event that might collide with the Workers' Youth march. Bureaucrats at the town hall believe that despite the legal requirement that events be announced five days in advance, in practice anyone can announce an event at any time. "The law does not prescribe sanctions even if you only announce it the day before," Tulis confirmed.
Because the organizers of both events are convening them primarily through the internet, police say it is not possible to determine in advance how many people will be heading to Jihlava. "We will increase the number of police officers in the special forces and transportation services so as to be able to respond to the situation," said the commander of the security operation, Karel Sehnal. He believes the main risk is that public order will be disturbed in the streets and racially motivated crimes might be committed. "If such situations occur, we are prepared to intervene uncompromisingly against the perpetrators," Sehnal said.
The march should follow the announced route from the bus station along Fritzova and Havlíčkova streets to náměstí Svobody, where speeches are to be made. The return to the bus station will proceed through Tolstého and Jirásek streets.
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