Demonstrators gave banned Nazi salute in full view of Czech Police, were wearing Nazi symbols
During the demonstration on 25 April by the populist-xenophobic "Freedom and Direct Democracy of Tomio Okamura" movement (Svoboda a přímá demokracie - SPD) on Prague's Wenceslas Square, one demonstrator gave a Nazi salute, another was wearing Nazi symbols, and other well-known neo-Nazis were among them. A photograph of the saluting man, wearing a military uniform, first began spreading on social media.
Later news server A2larm.cz published video footage to its Facebook profile showing the man absolutely clearly giving the Nazi salute in full view of police officers who watched and took no action. Later that evening, the Czech Police tweeted that they were already investigating the case of the saluting man: "Detectives did not fail to notice the 'saluting' guy in the green beret. Officers already know his identity."
Reflex magazine published photographs and video footage of a woman wearing a collection of Nazi swastikas around her neck. Police will apparently be addressing her case as well.
"The Police monitored the course of today's action and will carefully assess the audiovisual footage. Officers will dedicate the same attention to posts on social media and the illegal behavior discovered will be addressed according to the law," the Czech Police said in response to tweets drawing attention to the woman's presence.
Romea.cz correspondents also saw many extremists at the scene who regularly attend neo-Nazi events, such as Romana Frieselová, who previously racially abused the photographer Vít Hassan at a different event and who gave the Nazi salute at a Workers Social Justice Party (DSSS) demonstration in Dubí last year. Czech MP Jaroslav Foldyna (Czech Social Democratic Party - ČSSD) was also at the event.
"As a member of the Security Committee in the lower house I was interested in the atmosphere and the course of the event itself," is how he explained his presence among the xenophobes to the daily Lidové noviny. Demonstrators waved the flags of the extremist DSSS and carried photographs of the chair of the Republican Party, Miroslav Sládek.
Hundreds gathered that afternoon to demonstrate against what they view as the "dictatorship of the European Union". Counter-protesters also assembled at the bottom and the top of Wenceslas Square.
The Czech News Agency reports that dozens of police officers, including anti-conflict and riot units, monitored the situation. Some altercations could not be prevented and the riot units later pushed the counter-demonstrators away from the scene of the SPD event.
According to police, a total of 10 persons were detained for failure to obey the orders of a public official and their behavior will be reported to the local administrative authorities for handling as misdemeanors. "Nobody was injured during the police intervention," police reported.
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