The Worker’s Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti DSSS) is planning to hold an outdoor meeting in the town of Nový Bydžov on 12 March. Party chair Tomáš Vandas will speak on Masaryk Square there before leading the march through the town. DSSS Executive Vice-Chair Jiří Štěpánek informed the media of the plans today. The town has been addressing increased criminal activity, allegedly committed by several members of the Roma community, since the fall.
“The gathering is being organized on the basis of numerous requests received from citizens of the town who are in a desperate situation, afraid to walk through the streets out of concern for their safety,” Štěpánek declared. Mayor Pavel Louda is quoted today in the regional daily Hradecký deník as saying he will make an official statement about the party’s announcement on Monday. “For the time being, their request is on my desk with the understanding that they will organize the event themselves and will talk about the security situation in the country and in the town,” Louda said.
The situation in the town of 7 000 came to a head last November after the rape of a young woman and several muggings. A petition demanding the provision of security has been signed by 3 257 people. The mayor issued a declaration sharply criticizing all Roma and announced a series of measures that would be taken against problematic residents. The town has called in a private security agency and increased the number of police on patrol from four to six.