Czech Republic: Hundreds plan to demonstrate against neo-Nazis on 1 May
If neo-Nazis gather publicly on 1 May in Brno, there will also be a public assembly by those opposed to them under the name BRNO BLOCKS 2014! (Brno blokuje 2014!). While around 600 promoters of the right-wing extremist Workers' Youth (Dělnická mládež - DM) organization are scheduled to come to Brno that day, conveners of the counter-demonstration hope to bring out 2 000 opponents of neo-Nazism.
Svatopluk Bartík announced the planned gathering against right-wing extremism on behalf of BRNO BLOCKS 2014! to the Czech News Agency today. DM has announced two marches in Brno for 1 May, but it is possible the group will instead join a similar neo-Nazi event in Ústí nad Labem.
"It decidedly is not our aim to spark clashes or to prevent the police from doing their work. We just want to show, in a peaceful format, that we do not want extremists in the city," Bartík said of the Brno counter-protest.
So far 700 people have confirmed their participation in the counter-protest through the Facebook social networking site. Bartík noted that extremists usually gather in Brno every other year but that the tradition was canceled last year.
Right-wing extremists will therefore be gathering in Brno this year after a two-year break. "If they never came here that would be best," Bartík said.
The BRNO BLOCKS 2014! spokesperson believes another question is where the DM promoters, who are closely linked to the right-wing extremist DSSS party, will actually assemble. DM has announced two different marches to the Brno-střed municipal department, evidently so they can choose at the last minute which place is best to gather.
Another neo-Nazi assembly is also scheduled for the same date and time in Ústí nad Labem. Erik Lamprecht, the DM chair, told the Czech News Agency today that it is not clear whether the Brno event will take even place.
"If we cancel it in Brno we will join the event scheduled for Ústí nad Labem. We will know more by approximately mid-April," he said.
In 2011 about 500 right-wing radicals gathered for a 1 May parade in Brno. Police arrested 15 people for rioting during that event.
At total of 2 000 people counter-protested the neo-Nazis on the streets in 2011. This year, the first DM demonstration has been announced from 11:00 to 20:00 on Kapucínské Square, involving a parade down Josefská, Novobranská, and Jánská Streets to Římský Square.
The other demonstration is announced from 10:00 to 20:00 in the park in front of the Anthropos pavilion. That event would involve a parade down Pisárecká, Hlinky, and Veletržní Streets, ending up back in the park.
Both police and the Brno-střed municipal department are preparing for the right-wing radicals' assemblies. Representatives of the municipality are able to disperse either assembly should either of them break the law.
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