Extremist Czech Workers' Party registered in 2003
The following is a short profile of the Czech far-right Workers' Party (DS) in connection with the Supreme Administrative Court's forthcoming deliberation on its outlawing that was proposed by the Czech government:
- The party was registered on January 22, 2003. It was established by former members of the Republican parties connected with Miroslav Sladek. According to some media, the party has 300 members. It is headed by Tomas Vandars, former secretary of Sladek when he was chairman of the Republicans.
At the beginning of this year, the Supreme Administrative Court suspended the activities of the extra-parliamentary ultra-right Republicans of Miroslav Miroslav. The predecessor of the Republicans, the extreme-right Assembly for the Republic-Czechoslovak Republican Party (SPR-RSC), was a parliamentary party in 1993 when it held 14 mandates in the 200-seat Chamber of Deputies. It was also headed by Sladek.
- On November 10, 2008, Vandas filed a lawsuit against Interior Minister Ivan Langer (senior ruling Civic Democrats, ODS) over his proposal to outlaw the DS. The Interior Ministry submitted the proposal on November 5.
- In the local elections in 2006 the DS gained three mandates.
- In this year's regional elections the DS ran in coalition with the Democratic Party of Social Justice under the name The Workers' Party - for the abolition of fees in health care. The Plzen Region, west Bohemia, was the only exception. There the party ran under the name The Workers' Party - No to the U.S. radar! The party has not gained any mandates. According to Vandas, almost 29,000 people voted for it. The DS was not successful in the previous regional elections either.
- Erik Sedlacek, who in the past was sentenced to three years in prison for the support and promotion of movements aimed at suppressing people's rights and freedoms (the sentence has not yet taken effect) ran on the DS's list of candidates in the Vysocina area in this year's regional elections.
- In its programme, the DS demands, among other things, the Czech Republic's withdrawal from the EU and NATO. It proposes to abolish all kinds of support for immigrants and to ban same sex couples' marriages. It wants the birth certificates and the ID cards issued in the Czech Republic to include people's nationality.
- When the extremist National Corporativism organisation ended its activities this April, its leadership recommended that all its former members join the DS. Last year, the DS lodged a complaint against the Interior Ministry over the appearance of its logo on a booklet on extremism. However, the police have shelved the complaint. The DS then filed a libel lawsuit against the ministry.
- The DS is connected with ultra-right groups. Supporters of the neo-Nazi National Resistence (this militant organisations supported the DS May Day rally in Prague this year) and the Autonomous Nationalists usually take part in the events organised by the DS.
- The DS stirred the public attention in January when it filed a criminal complained against Pavel Roedl, mayor of the west Bohemian town of Plzen, for his decision to ban a neo-Nazi march permitted by the authorities. Police have shelved the complaint.
- The party last attracted public attention on November 17 when it organised a meeting in Litvinov, north Bohemia, that was announced as an event aimed against positive discrimination and police violence. However, it developed into the toughest clashes between the police and radicals since 2000 when street violence accompanied the meeting of world financial institutions in Prague.
- Before this, supporters of the DS, the National Resistence and the Autonomous Nationalists met in Litvinov on October 18. Their event was announced as a reaction to the local Romanies' opposition against members of the DS guards that started monitoring the situation at Litvinov's Janov housing estate at the beginning of October over Romany attacks on so-called DS protective cords. The meeting developed into clashes with the police who finally prevented the radicals from attacking Romanies. The Czech Federation of Jewish Communities and other associations demanded the outlawing of the DS at that time already.
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