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Romani activist files charges against teachers who marched with neo-Nazis

Rotava, 23.11.2011 16:25, (ROMEA)

News server iDNES.cz reports that Vojtěch Pompa, a Romani activist from the Czech town of Sokolov, is preparing criminal charges against teachers who participated in a demonstration by the Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strany sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) at the end of October in the town of Rotava. Three teachers from the local elementary school marched together with the ultra-right extremists.

Members of the local Romani community do not want those teachers instructing their children. "I decided to file criminal charges against the teachers who marched in the demonstration at the end of October and shouted slogans such as 'Bohemia for the Czechs'. They should face the consequences of their actions," Pompa has announced.

The teachers have previously refused to comment on their participation in the event. When they turned up at the demonstration, local Romani onlookers were shocked and asked the school to fire them. The teachers, however, received the backing not only of the Citizens of Rotava civic association (Občané Rotavy), but also of Robert Horváth, who was the head of the local Romani organization, Meta, at the time.

After expressing support for the teachers, Horváth gradually became unacceptable to the 360 members of Meta. He resigned as chair and announced he was leaving the association altogether. "I had big plans, but there was a certain misunderstanding, we couldn't reach agreement. I can't take it psychologically any longer," Horváth has revealed.

Romani residents of Rotava are said to have been bothered by the fact that Horváth was too active in making statements to the media without first consulting them with the members of the organization. "Everything has turned against me and I am all alone in this," he says.

František Kostlán, Gwendolyn Albert, fk, iDNES.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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