Czech town sees low turnout for 10th anniversary of anti-Romani pogrom, Romani people light candles for the police officers injured that day
Fewer than 50 right-wing extremists from the Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) assembled yesterday in the Czech town of Litvínov. The event marked the 10th anniversary of their attempted pogrom on the Janov housing estate there and its Romani residents.
About 30 Romani residents assembled yesterday at the Janov housing estate for a peaceful gathering during which they lit candles to honor the police officers injured in 2008 as well as the victims of Nazism in November 1939. On 17 November 2008 a neo-Nazi entity called the Workers Party, later dissolved by the courts, led the convening of hundreds of neo-Nazis from all over the republic who, supported by local non-Romani inhabitants, demonstrated against Romani people.
During their march on the Janov housing estate the neo-Nazis clashed with police who, using tear gas and water cannon, managed to prevent what was apparently an attempt to undertake the biggest anti-Romani pogrom in the modern history of the Czech Republic. Local opposition city assembly member Petr Globočník attended the Romani assembly yesterday after criticizing city leadership for not sending a clear political response to the extremists' plans.
"This will be a commemoration of the anniversary of the neo-Nazi protests that marched on Janov. The City of Litvínov should make it clear that the way we address the issue of Janov today will be something absolutely different from what [DSSS chair] Mr Vandas will be submitting for our consideration," Globočník told the Most edition of the daily Deník.cz earlier this week.
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