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August 8, 2022



Czech right-wing extremists march through town where Romani arson victims live

Budišov nad Budišovkou, 9.6.2014 17:13, (ROMEA)
The march by right-wing extremists in the Czech town of Budišov nad Budišovkou on 7 June 2014. (PHOTO: Vít Hassan)
The march by right-wing extremists in the Czech town of Budišov nad Budišovkou on 7 June 2014. (PHOTO: Vít Hassan)

On Saturday a demonstration was held in the town of Budišov nad Budišovkou that was advertised as a "Commemorative march for Viktor Švarc". Right-wing extremists attempted to exploit the as-yet unsolved death of Mr Švarc, who was 28 years old when he died.   

Locals speculate that three Romani people allegedly assaulted Mr Švarc (who is not Romani) and are responsible for his death. The march was not convened by relatives of the deceased, but by Petr Borna, a member of the Workers' Social Justice Party (DSSS), and by the infamous neo-Nazi Pavel Sládek Matějný, who ultimately did not attend the event.  

Just before 14:00, locals, primarily pensioners, began gathering on the corners of the main square in Budišov nad Budišovkou and discussing how local Romani people had allegedly murdered Viktor Švarc. A truck drove through the square and a loud shout of "Sieg Heil!" was heard from it.  

The first right-wing radicals then turned up on the square. There were a total of 60 people gathered there, about 15 of whom were right-wing radicals. 

Their speaker was informed that he could begin speaking at 14:30. By then another 15 right-wing radicals had showed up.

At 14:30, organizer Petr Born asked the locals to gather round and gave a speech about how a similar case had taken place not far away a few years back (by which he meant the Vítkov arson scandal - the victims of that incident now reside in Budišov) which had received a great deal of publicity and for which the perpetrators had received extraordinary sentencing. Born then claimed there is a "double standard" when it comes to the system evaluating crimes committed by Romani people and those (like Vítkov) committed by "whites".  

A man with a shaved head wearing camouflage fatigues, infantry boots, and a sign reading "organizer" then spoke. He said anyone who publicly objects to "Gypsies" is labeled an "extremist" and a "racist" by the media, and then asked the locals present:  "Look at me, is it possible that I am an extremist?"

The man then called on locals who have had bad experiences with Romani people to not be afraid to speak out publicly. The microphone was then taken up by a pensioner who began to describe in great detail her bad experiences with local Romani people; the organizer said she was brave and her speech was met with applause from most of the onlookers.

Next a 50-year-old man spoke, doing his best to communicate that not all Romani people are bad and that people cannot be judged just on the basis of skin color. No one applauded.

A young Romani couple were also on the square, and they explained to the organizers that local Roma had actually taken care of Viktor Švarc, both by feeding him and by letting him live in their home. There was a sharp exchange of opinions between the organizers and a Romani man, after which about 15 other Romani people arrived on the scene.   

A police anti-conflict team had to separate the two groups from one another. One organizer than announced the beginning of the "Commemorative march for the victim of Romani violence, Viktor Švarc." 

The right-wing radicals at the head of the march shouted the slogan "Bohemia for the Czechs!" in unison. The march soon made it onto the street that leads to a Romani-occupied residential hotel, in front of which approximately 70 young Romani people had gathered.

Some of those participating in the "commemorative march" began shrieking and yelling at the Roma. The right-wing radicals then shouted, in unison "Bohemia for the Czechs!", "Gypsies get to work!" and "Go back to India!"

Residents of the residential hotel shouted back "This is our home, go away!" Some Romani people let themselves be provoked into shouting very racist, vulgar abuse and the radicals called for a fight.

The situation was very tense and roughly 15 enraged Romani people attempted to come down the hill from the residential hotel to reach the right-wing radicals. Some of the right-wing radicals shook their fists at the Roma. 

The police anti-conflict team managed to prevent a clash between the two groups. The camouflage-wearing convener of the "commemorative march" stopped the right-wing extremists' retreat, turned around, and shouted at the Roma that this is "his" country and they should go back to India.

The right-wing radicals' parade then began moving again and returned to the center of the town square. A group of about 25 Romani people showed up on the square a moment later, shouting racist, vulgar abuse at the right-wing radicals and challenging them to a fight; only the anti-conflict team was able to prevent the enraged Romani people from reaching them.

Vít Hassan, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Demonstrace, Neo-Nazism, Racism, Roma


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