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June 25, 2022



Patrik Banga

Author's articles

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Patrik Banga: Violence should not be minimized, but "Čhikatar het" action deserves praise overall

Prague, 28.6.2013 17:17, (ROMEA) This commentary was first published in Czech on Monday, 24 June 2013. For reporting on the incidents it refers to, please see and  full story

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Patrik Banga: Judge, the arrow got him in the head by accident...

Prague, 24.5.2013 7:08, (ROMEA) So: Our Czech William Tell is on trial. He didn't hit the apple but the head, and surprise! The man he shot, died. A legend then sprang up about a hero protecting his property from a horde of gypsies who were robbing his house. The prosecutor, however, sees it differently, and her qualification of what happened approximates murder.  full story

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Commentary: Ghetto children in the Czech Republic are victims of the system

Prague, 8.4.2013 17:59, (ROMEA) When I was young I wanted to become a musician like my father, my grandfather, his father and all of our family. I first wanted to play either clarinet or saxophone, and later I wanted to play bass, drums, guitar and piano like Uncle Jonko, and in the end I wanted to play the electric guitar like Petr Janda – he’s not from my family, but he plays well too.  full story

Patrik Banga: How can Romani families influence the sewer on Přednádraží street?

Ostrava, 7.8.2012 23:05, (ROMEA) Approximately 180 people are refusing to move out of the ghetto on Přednádraží street in Ostrava-Přívoz. Instead of leaving, they have made minor repairs to the buildings. For the last two years, the owner has not been making any repairs because the sewer lines are not working. The ownership of the sewer lines has been the subject of a dispute.  full story

Patrik Banga: How easy it is to influence the nation

Prague, 23.2.2012 17:26, (ROMEA) It's amazing how easily people can be influenced. Whether we like it or not, almost everything around us is influenced by the media, from politics to our view of immigrants, and everything depends on the angle the news comes from.  full story

Anti-Romani article in Czech tabloid is by one-time neo-Nazi candidate

Prague, 20.2.2012 20:00, (ROMEA) A recent article published by the Czech tabloid Parlamentní listy about the alleged robbing of the "European Romani Party" - a piece which was most likely pure fiction - was written by freelancer Václav Prokůpek. That same Václav Prokůpek ran as the leading candidate for the lower house on the ticket of the extremist Workers' Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti - DSSS) in 2010 in Olomouc Reigon. The DSSS is infamous for its hatred of homeless people, migrants, people from the gay and lesbian community, and Romani people. Prokůpek is just one of several authors writing anti-Romani articles for Parlamentní listy.  full story

Czech tabloid report on Romani political party may be a hoax

Prague / Ústí nad Labem, 19.2.2012 19:28, (ROMEA)

The political tabloid Parlamentní listy (PL) reported on Thursday, 9 February that a political party had been established in Ústí nad Labem called the European Romani Party (Evropská romská strana - ERS) and had been robbed by its Prague-based treasurer. PL reported that the treasurer had collected signatures for the new political party in Ústí 14 days previously, along with "CZK 100 from each future member for a membership card". He is then said to have not attended the party's constitutive assembly. PL published the report under the headline "Roma establish party and already have a problem: Their treasurer has disappeared with the money".  full story

Commentary by Patrik Banga: Sneering at a funeral is deplorable

Prague/Tanvald, 8.1.2012 19:23, (ROMEA) I made a mistake: I read some of the discussions posted online in response to articles about yesterday's funeral in Tanvald. They were standard postings overall, but as far as the funeral itself was concerned, they were really disgusting. People wrote about the funeral as a comedy, as a bit of theater. They wrote that it was a shame that everyone there wasn't buried as well. They ridiculed the mourners and other matters - just one piece of nastiness after another.  full story

Czech Republic: Romani victim says shooting was unprovoked

Tanvald, 2.1.2012 23:38, (ROMEA) According to the Romani youth who survived yesterday's shooting incident in Tanvald, the 63-year-old man who fired at him and his brother did so for no reason whatsoever. Ladislav Tatár, the father of the victims, one of whom was shot to death, has informed news server of his surviving son's statement. Tatár also said the alleged shooter, who is no longer in custody, is a former police officer. TV Nova has reported that the alleged shooter has since traveled to Germany.  full story

Czech Romani activist Emil Ščuka: We're "gypsies" again, just like before 1989

Prague, 18.9.2011 19:21, (ROMEA) Emil Ščuka, the former chair of the Romani Civic Initiative (Romská občanská iniciativa) and one of the main leaders of the Romani community post-1989 has broken his many years of silence. In an interview for news server in which he comments on today's anti-Roma atmosphere in Czech society, Ščuka says it is the fault of Romani people themselves that conditions in the Czech Republic have returned to those of pre-1989 Czechoslovakia, namely, that they have become "gypsies" once more. News server reprints the interview in full.  full story

Patrik Banga: Report from Rumburk

Rumburk, 29.8.2011 16:24, (ROMEA) "Don't worry, it'll be fine", I said to my fellow reporters as we got on the tram in Prague last Friday. Later in the day I said the same thing to correspondent Radek Horváth when I picked him up in Děčín.  full story

Commentary by Patrik Banga: How and why police detained me in Rumburk

Prague/Rumburk, 27.8.2011 20:08, (ROMEA) I don't know myself why the police did it - evidently they detained me because I was doing my job. It's a paradox. When they detained me, I was photographing a police intervention. The riot police were arresting someone for not obeying their instructions. He was fighting them, which was reason in and of itself to photograph the incident. There were about 20 journalists there, half of them not clearly identifiable, but I knew them from other events.  full story

Šluknov, Czech Republic: Rain gutters stripped from homes near the Roma "ghetto"

Šluknov, 20.6.2011 19:04, (ROMEA) We headed for this small town in the northernmost corner of the republic, set in a picturesque landscape, to find out more details about a tense situation that has developed between the Romani community and the majority population there. Both the regional newspapers and statewide periodicals are buzzing with articles using strong terms such as "militia" (domobrana), "ghetto", or "lynching" (lynčování).  full story

Commentary: Romani representatives lost the Czech Television debate

Prague, 11.6.2011 14:09, (ROMEA) Thursdays' performance by Messrs Tancoš and Štefan on Michaela Jílková's program "Máte Slovo" ("You Have the Floor") can be summed up in one sentence: They lost by a technical knockout. Why? A full 10 ten rounds would have just prolonged their suffering. Their side received a beating by the team of one businessman and a few politicians that was similar to the one Rocky Balboa delivers in the last two minutes of that film. I hope Honza Balog likes my boxer metaphor - now let's get to the core of the problem.  full story

Vice-Mayor of Vsetín, Czech Republic says Roma tenants do not owe the town CZK 13 million

Vsetín, 2.6.2011 15:31, (ROMEA) Květoslava Othová, the Vice-Mayor of Vsetín, has corrected the information reported about the amount of debt owed the town by Roma residents of the Poschlá locality. Media recently reported that Roma tenants owed a staggering CZK 13 million, but that sum is the total amount owed by all defaulting tenants living anywhere on the town's territory since records were kept, not the sum owed by tenants in Poschlá.  full story

Roma commentator Patrik Banga on the Nový Bydžov demonstrations

Nový Bydžov, 13.3.2011 21:08, (ROMEA) We arrived in Nový Bydžov at around 9 AM. For the last 20 kilometers of our journey, my colleague Ivan Kratochvíl and I searched in vain for the police officers who were supposed to be on patrol. We encountered the first police on the very edge of this small town, which was about to become a meeting point for several hundred extremists and those demonstrating against them. No one stopped us. Police instead paid attention to a yellow Fabia pulling a trailer.  full story

How teenagers almost started a racial war in Nový Bydžov

Nový Bydžov, 24.1.2011 17:18, (ROMEA) When I first heard about the problems the Roma were having in the town of Nový Bydžov, everything was clear to me. I thought it was a case like the town of Nový Bor - that the Roma had brought it on themselves. I let my position be known when we were discussing the option of filming a brief reportage directly from "the scene of the crime". I didn't want to go there.  full story

Czech town to discontinue Roma police assistants, they protest

Litvínov, 10.11.2010 16:05, (ROMEA) The Litvínov town hall is not satisfied with three members of the Roma community who have been working as civil employees of the municipal police as part of the Úsvit ("Daybreak") program to assist in addressing tensions in socially excluded localities. Mayor Daniel Volák told journalists the town will no longer be requesting subsidies from the government for their work. The dissatisfaction of the town leadership came to a head on Friday when these employees allegedly clashed with a man at the Janov housing estate. The town hall says the police assistants behaved illegally, but they claim they were just doing their job.  full story

Secretary to Czech President Klaus condemns TV coverage of Vitkov arson trial

Prague, 7.10.2010 15:17, (ROMEA) Petr Hájek, the deputy head of Czech President Václav Klaus's office, is taking aim at Czech Television. It bothers him that the public broadcaster programmed live coverage of the closing arguments in the trial of the four men charged with committing the arson attack in Vítkov. According to Hájek, this constitutes “pressure” and is an attack on the court’s independence. It’s too bad I don’t have the opportunity to ask Mr Hájek whether he really has so little faith in the justice system. I would like to ask him if he would be making this same criticism if his own child had been maimed in the attack.  full story

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