Czech Police get ready for extremist march in Litvínov

17.11

The Czech Police and the Litvínov town hall are getting ready for today’s march through the town by promoters of the Workers’ Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti – DSSS). Party secretary Jiří Štěpánek says the extremists want to commemorate the events of two years ago. In 2008, promoters of the now-banned Workers’ Party (Dělnická strana) attempted a pogrom on local Roma. The extremists ended up fighting with police officers, who managed to keep them from marching too far into the Janov housing estate. Clashes between extremists and police lasted for almost an hour and cost the taxpayers tens of millions of crowns.

Alena Bartošová, spokesperson for the police in Most, told the Czech Press Agency today that police have readied about 100 officers. Dog handlers, members of an anti-conflict team and riot police are supposed to be on the scene.

Alexandra Sixtová, the secretary of the Litvínov town hall, told journalists today that the demonstration had been properly announced and could not be banned. Apparently there was no way to tell from the public notice that the event was convened by the DSSS. Town representatives insist they are in contact with police and prepared for any eventual complications. The town will have an official at the scene to disperse the march should the law be violated.

Extremists organized two marches in Litvínov two years ago, one in October and one in November. Both events ended in clashes with police, who did their best to prevent the extremist marchers from accessing the Janov housing estate and sparking a conflict with local Roma. During the November 2008 march, when the larger clashes occurred, officers used stun grenades and water cannon against the demonstrators, who threw rocks and various kinds of firecrackers at police.

Ten people were charged for participating in the 17 November 2008 march, but the state attorney halted the prosecutions after evaluating their actions as misdemeanors. Only the extremists who attacked human rights activist Ondřej Cakl of the Tolerance association have been charged.

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