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August 18, 2018
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Czech Republic

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Czech Police refuse immediate comment about extremist stickers on bus used to transport 280 arrested environmental activists

6.7.2018 14:14 A photograph of the interior of a bus used by Czech Police to transport activists arrested after a protest against surface mining for brown coal at the Bílina mine in the Most district shows that a sticker for the hatemongering Ortel band and an anti-Islam sticker with a red line crossing out a mosque were visible above the driver's seat. On 1 July police detained 280 demonstrators on suspicion of misdemeanors.  full story

Czech fundraising campaign begins for 25 evictees now living in a primary school gym

6.7.2018 8:33 The gym at a school in the Předlice neighborhood of the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem became a temporary residence last weekend for 25 people evicted from the Modrá residential hotel, which closed on 30 June. Thanks to the enormous efforts made primarily by Karel Karika, the Vice-Mayor of the central municipal department of the city, new rental housing was secured for all the residents of another residential hotel (Klišská) which also closed on 30 June.  full story

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Czech research shows 96 % of poorest families in Rapid Re-Housing maintain their housing and improve their health

4.7.2018 16:39 A project in Brno, Czech Republic called "Rapid Re-Housing" providing municipally-owned apartment units for lease to families at risk of homelessness is celebrating significant success after its first year. According to research by Ostrava University, a total of 96 % of the families in the project have managed to maintain their housing, and what is more, the state of health of the children involved and their parents has improved.  full story

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First-graders from Czech school subjected to racist attacks online receive tablets thanks to ROMEA's fundraising drive

2.7.2018 6:15 Children attending the primary school in Teplice that faced a wave of racist online commentaries in the autumn of 2017 were given tablets and other small gifts during the end-of-year celebration that were bought for them by the school with the proceeds from the ROMEA organization's fundraising campaign on their behalf. At last Thursday's celebration, graduating pupils were given a sash to wear and were accompanied by the first-graders in addition to their teachers during the ceremony.  full story

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Czech residential hotels close, 21 people now living in a primary school gym

1.7.2018 8:32 Yesterday the last tenants in the two residential hotels closing in the Czech town of Ústí nad Labem moved out. According to those who attended the Friday coordination group meeting among representatives of the city, social workers and nonprofit organizations, of the 224 people in need of rehousing, 177 have accommodation arranged and housing for 25 more people was in the process of being sought.  full story

Czech ultraconservative alleges that members of minorities defend their rights at the expense of "heterosexual men who are white"

30.6.2018 12:16 Speaking in the lower house on 27 June, the chair of the xenophobic "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party, Tomio Okamura, and the ultraconservative Václav Klaus, Jr (Civic Democratic Party - ODS) criticized the activity of the Czech Public Defender of Rights, Anna Šabatová. Okamura accused her of just defending the rights of minorities to the detriment of "white heterosexual men", and Klaus indirectly called her an extreme leftist.  full story

Survey shows people in the Czech Republic trust each other less and have less tolerance for minorities

30.6.2018 8:42 Trust is declining in the Czech Republic. So is the degree of tolerance for some minorities - immigrants in general and Muslims in particular.  full story

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Czech Christian Democrats, SocDems want to stop the use of vouchers in material distress benefits

28.6.2018 6:31 The Czech Christian Democrats (KDU-ČSL) and Czech Social Democrats (ČSSD) want to absolutely abolish the compulsory disbursal of part of aid to those in material distress in vouchers instead of money and are asking for a return to the previous approach in which beneficiaries received their welfare in money and Labor Offices could decide to disburse just part of the benefits in vouchers in individual cases only. Amendments were submitted by both the ČSSD and the KDU-ČSL during the second reading yesterday of other bills on the issue to make sure that benefits paid exclusively in money will be received by some groups of the more impoverished beneficiaries.  full story

Czech landlord allegedly threatens to pull the plug tonight on evictees' amplified displacement party

27.6.2018 16:00 The people being evicted from the Klíšská and Modrá residential hotels in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic are bidding farewell to the neighborhood today with musical performances under the slogans "We Won't Go Live on the Street!" and "Black, White, Together We Fight!", holding a community gathering in advance of their having to move out on 30 June. The evictees want to draw attention to their desperate situation and to point out that the authorities have de facto created a real quandary when it comes to making social housing accessible.  full story

Czech city says 56 evictees still not rehoused, must move by the end of the week

25.6.2018 15:04 Of the two residential hotels in the Czech city of Ústí nad Labem that are closing their operations on Saturday, 56 people still need to be rehoused. There are 224 people officially registered as living in the facilities.

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Czech chair of National Council of People Living with Disabilities lets himself be used to promote populist, xenophobic party

25.6.2018 6:48 The chair of the National Council of People Living with Disabilities, Václav Krása, who is also a former MP for the Civic Democrats (ODS) and Freedom Union (Unie svobody) parties, has contributed to designing the program for the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" (SPD) party for the local elections in Prague and calls the party worthy of support. Krása sees no problem in collaborating with a party that disseminates disinformation and incites hatred in society.  full story

Week-long education event at Terezín also honors genocide of Roma with concert and flag

24.6.2018 15:15 On 22 June yet another year of the Vlak Lustig ("Lustig Train") project began in the spaces of the former Jewish ghetto at Terezín, the aim of which is to inform the public, including schoolchildren, aout the causes and consequences of genocides in world history. This year the project will include information about Holocaust victims who are Romani.  full story

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Martina Horváthová on building a network of Romani feminists in the Czech Republic

23.6.2018 13:05 Martina Horváthová was once on her way to becoming one of the first Romani doctors in the Czech Republic. "Our parents always told us we had to be at least three times better than the gadje for us to even be noticed and recognized by them," she recalls.  full story

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Czech court rules activists did not enrich themselves by using abandoned building, state may go to Supreme Court

22.6.2018 10:32 The Autonomous Social Center "Klinika" and its representative, Tereza Virtová, do not have to pay the state CZK 360 000 [EUR 14 000] for using real estate in Prague 3 during 2016 for several months without authorization. On 20 June the appeals venue, the Prague Municipal Court, upheld the previous verdict from the first-instance District Court, which rejected a lawsuit filed by the state and found that no "unjust enrichment" had occurred.  full story

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Czech court rules in favor of songwriter's widow, xenophobic band loses prize named after him without authorization

22.6.2018 8:40 The Czech organization that gave a music award named after the songwriter Karel Kryl to the frontman for the xenophobic Ortel band, Tomáš Ortel, have lost their appeal of the lawsuit filed against them by the songwriter's widow. The Gold Award for the Legacy of Karel Kryl was given to Ortel last spring by a group called People for the People (Lidé lidem) that actually was not authorized to use the songwriter's name at all.
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Czech region where evictions are underway keeps rejecting plans to subsidize lunches for impoverished schoolchildren

21.6.2018 11:20 News server iDNES.cz reports that the Ústecký Regional Assembly has refused to support a motion from its Regional Council to allocate regional finances to cover the costs of lunches at school for children from impoverished families. The assembly members were especially bothered by the fact that the financing was to have been distributed through a nonprofit organization.  full story

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Czech PM, in speech about EU, says migration problems have caused a rise in extremist politics

21.6.2018 6:44 Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babiš (ANO) has reiterated his belief that he considers the biggest problem facing the EU today to be that of illegal migration. In a speech opening a three-day international conference on 19 June called the "Prague European Summit", the PM said migration problems have caused the rise of extremist politics and created disputes among states.  full story

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Czech President verbally assails residential hotel evictees, supports city's move to abolish housing benefits entirely

19.6.2018 15:40 Czech President Miloš Zeman perceives declaring municipal territories "housing benefit-free zones" to be part of combating poverty. He would agree with declaring all of the City of Ústí nad Labem such a zone.  full story

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videoCivil society members of Czech Govt Roma Council leave meeting in protest against housing benefit-free zones

19.6.2018 15:03 Romani civil society members of the Czech Govt Council for Romani Minority affairs have left the Council meeting today to protest the current Government's social policy. They are demanding the abolition of housing benefit-free zones and the withdrawal of a bill to amend the Act on Aid to Those in Material Distress even further in a restrictive direction.  full story

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videoLIVE: Civil society members of Czech Govt Council for Romani Minority Affairs make statement

19.6.2018 13:24 At 13:30 the civil society members of the Czech Government Council for Romani Minority Affairs will give a statement about the introduction of the legal provision for municipalities to declare areas on their territories as "localities with an increased incidence of socially undesirable phenomena", the so-called "housing benefit-free zones". The Council already called this legal provision in the law on aid to those in material distress discriminatory during its 8 November 2017 session.  full story

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