More and more Czech celebrities supporting blockade of neo-Nazi march in Brno on 1 May
The brutal interventions recently committed by the Czech Police and Czech Interior Ministry officials against the nonviolent, peaceful blockades of neo-Nazi marches in the towns of Nový Bydžov and Krupka have not scared off those opposed to neo-Nazism. On the contrary, more and more celebrities from public life are starting to join their efforts.
The BRNO BLOCKS Initiative (BRNO BLOKUJE) is preparing a nonviolent blockade of the neo-Nazi march on 1 May 2011 in Brno and is calling on people to join them in Cejl street. "Neo-Nazi sympathizers want to march through the streets of Brno and have intentionally chosen a route that leads through Cejl street, a place where a large number of people from various minority groups, particularly Roma people, now live," reads the BRNO BLOCKS invitation received by news server Romea.cz. The exact place and time of this blockade will be specified later and news server Romea.cz will report those developments.
More and more celebrities are expressing support for this nonviolent blockade. People are standing up for the jeopardized residents of the quarter and drawing attention to the fact that the dissemination of fear and hatred cannot be ignored.
Those celebrities include singer Iva Bittová, fashion designer Liběna Rochová, clergyman and college instructor Tomáš Halík, author Ivan Klíma, the bands Midi Lidi and Čoko Voko, the actor and television host Jan Kraus, political scientist Jiří Pehe, philosopher Erazim Kohák, Brno-based actors Jiří Kniha and Jiří Vyorálek, actress Simona Babčáková, theologian Ivan Štampach, and the World Champion in Thai Boxing, Jan Müller. All of them supported the nonviolent blockade of the 1 May neo-Nazi march through Brno just days after it was publicized.
Fashion designer Liběna Rochová: "We do not want anyone to have to experience violence, fear, demonstrations of force, terror, or the feeling of powerlessness. Any form of violence is incompatible with a dignified life."
Clergyman and college instructor Tomáš Halík: "I express my sincere moral support to all who stand against the neo-Nazi extremist provocation in Brno in an unequivocally nonviolent but brave and full-hearted way."
Actor and television host Jan Kraus: "Like every other normal, slightly educated person I know that racism is the basis of the worst human behavior. History has proven that beyond the shadow of a doubt. The more of us who show we are prepared to protect our own freedom and our innocent fellow-citizens, the less risk there will be that the Nazis do something. Thank you for your Initiative, which I fully support. I am with you in spirit."
Jiří Pehe, political scientist and director of New York University in Prague: "I definitely support the activities of this initiative, which is doing its best to prevent the rise of extremist and neo-Nazi tendencies in Czech society. That is why I wish the 'BRNO BLOCKS Initiative much success and I thank the initiators for their civic courage."
Actress Simona Babčáková: "I support the BRNO BLOCKS Initiative because I believe it is necessary to show that certain aggressive, radically dogmatic approaches cannot be tolerated by society."
Jan Müller, World Super-Heavyweight Champion in Thai Boxing: "I believe that every person who realizes what these hateful ideologies can lead to is obliged to clearly, forcefully reject all manifestations of racism and xenophobia, whatever guise they take. A nonviolent blockade of this march is, in my opinion, a legitimate expression of our rejection of the promotion of racist and xenophobic ideas and I intend to support it."
Philosopher Erazim Kohák: "In an age of fear and hatred, solidarity is our only refuge. When the freedom and human dignity of any single person is jeopardized, it is not only a threat to all of us, but to this country as a place for coexisting in freedom, good will, and respect. I thank Brno for its blockade."
BRNO BLOCKS (BRNO BLOKUJE) considers a neo-Nazi march through a quarter where Roma families live to be a symbol of the fact that, 66 years after the end of the Second World War, and two years after neo-Nazis attempted to burn a Roma family alive in Vítkov, Czech society is not able to address the danger of the continued spread of fear, hatred and violence. "If these people are allowed to march undisturbed while chanting their racist slogans through the streets of Brno along the route of Koliště - Cejl - Milady Horákové streets, they will not only feel the streets are theirs, they will have the self-confidence to commit further attacks," Initiative representatives say.
In this situation, the Initiative considers a nonviolent civil blockade to be a legitimate response to the inability or unwillingness of the police to effectively take on these hate marches: "In other countries such a march would prompt an immediate reaction from the general public and thousands of people would stand in its way. On Sunday, 1 May 2011 we will try to do that in Brno. Support us. We will be glad if you can come directly to the blockade. More detailed information will be updated on our web page. You can also support us in other ways. Spread the word about this action to those you know and through social networking sites, or print out and distribute the fliers or posters for it."
In addition to this nonviolent blockade, another anti-Nazi gathering will take place on 1 May which has been properly announced and will be protected by police. That gathering is being organized by the "We Don't Want Neo-Nazis in Brno" Initiative (V Brně neonacisty nechceme).
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