Czech town expects extremists (left and right) at separate concerts today
Two large musical events are taking place tonight in the Czech town of Plzeň, one which may attract promoters of the radical right and another which may attract promoters of anarchism. Local band Ortel, a favorite among neo-Nazis, will perform at the Šeříkovka culture center. A couple hundred meters away, in the Světovar former military barracks, the DOPE association is holding a concert. DOPE defines itself as anti-fascist and has counter-protested in Plzeň at right-wing radical marches in the past. Police will be monitoring the situation.
"Both events are confirmed. Should problems arise, we will respond immediately at the scene," police spokesperson Simona Čejková told the Czech Press Agency.
Because the shows are taking place a mere 300 meters away from one another at the same time, conflict might break out between some groups of concert-goers. Šeříkovka has the capacity for several hundred people, and hundreds of promoters of alternative culture, including anarchists, are expected to meet on the Světovar campus.
"We are cooperating with the municipal police, we advised them there will be about 1 000 people at our event, so they should step up their patrols in the area and have someone coordinate them once people start leaving the campus. We will provide security ourselves inside," said DOPE association chair Jiří Metod Kassl. He said DOPE had been preparing the event for the past two months and had not known about the concert in Šeříkovka. Since last Tuesday, the association has been offering events such as a "free techno scene", an electro scene, a grafitti jam, discussions on squatting, and a concert of the "plebeian underground". Punk concerts are scheduled for today.
Ortel will start playing at 20:00 in Šeříkovka. The group, whose song "Hadr" (Rag) recently became the unofficial anthem of the Workers' Party, which has since been banned, is advertising the show as its biggest concert ever in order to launch a new CD. In response to increased interest from both the media and police, the band distanced itself from neo-Nazis on its web page this past June and has warned its fans that anyone coming to the concert in "objectionable t-shirts" or revealing "objectionable tattoos" will not be permitted inside by security.
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