Czech right-wing extremists planning provocation in Roma neighborhood

Right-wing radicals who want to march in Přerov at the end of June are planning on parading through the local Roma quarter there, as indicated by a map of the parade route published on the website of the Přerov town hall. The town has called on residents to be aware of the event. State police and local patrolmen are also planning measures, and officers will be deployed in helicopters and on horseback.

The event on Saturday 25 June is being convened by the Workers’ Social Justice Party (Dělnická strana sociální spravedlnosti – DSSS). Neo-Nazis attacked police officers there two years ago after the official part of their demonstration was over, launching a street battle.

“The police measures will be the same as two years ago. There will be sufficient numbers of patrolmen and police officers on the streets, as well as riot police. We will request other regional police directorates for collaboration, especially to assist us with the helicopters and mounted police,” Michaela Sedláčková, spokesperson for the Olomouc Regional Police Directorate, told the Czech Press Agency today.

Sedláčková said patrolmen and police officers have already taken to the streets to distribute fliers to local residents with advice and instructions on how to behave that day. “We are preparing to visit socially excluded localities as well to explain the measures the police will take on the day of the march and the strategy. We want to prevent panic and the spread of baseless rumors and to calm the atmosphere in town,” Sedláčková said.

Representatives of the Přerov town hall told the Czech Press Agency today that they have no options for preventing the demonstration. “We were unable to find a legal reason to prevent it. That’s why we are preparing working meetings already and getting read for their arrival,” said town hall spokesperson Bohuslav Přidal. The town called on residents through its web page today not to linger along the march route or in places where security operations will take place. The town also called on residents not to let strangers into the common areas of apartment buildings and not to park their cars along the parade route. Police also called on business owners to secure their shops.

According to a map published at www.prerov.eu, the right-wing radicals will convene on náměstí Svobody (Freedom Square) and head along Havlíčkova and Komenského street to Škodova and Husova streets, which are predominantly inhabited by Roma people. After passing by the train station they will return along Kramářova and Čechova streets to náměstí Svobody.

The route is similar to the one two years ago, but the extremists did not make it to Škodova street then. Police blocked their path using heavy technology. Several hundred Roma people once lived in the locality, but some of the buildings have been demolished since then. Some of the original residents still live there, however.

“I consider the route unfortunate, I hope there will not be problems,” Richard Kořínek of the People in Need organization told the Czech Press Agency today. Kořínek said he is advising people to not linger in the places where the right-wing radicals show up, not to give cause for unnecessary conflict and not to respond to provocations. .

Two years ago in April the streets of Přerov were transformed into a battlefield when about 700 neo-Nazis attempted to break through police cordons when their event was officially over. Pieces of benching, firecrackers, paving stones and smoke bombs flew through the air near the bus station. Many smaller conflicts broke out in other places in Přerov where aggressive neo-Nazis attacked their opponents. A total of 31 people ended up in handcuffs and two youths were charged with rioting and vandalism. Some demonstrators, both neo-Nazis and their opponents, suffered injuries. The most serious case was that of a 21-year-old man who evidently lost a finger to a firecracker. Three patrolmen and six police officers received medical treatment as well.

The event, entitled “March against Racism”, was announced by the then-chair of the Worker’s Party cell in Olomouc, Jiří Švehlík. However, he claims the party later distanced itself from the event, which was then organized by the Autonomous Nationalists together with neo-Nazis from the National Resistance.

The DSSS is the successor to the Workers’ Party, which was dissolved by the Czech Supreme Administrative Court last year. The court found the party’s ideology, program and symbols included chauvinistic and xenophobic elements, a racist subtext, and was linked to national socialism, the ideology connected to Adolf Hitler.
http://www.romea.cz/english/index.php?id=detail&detail=2007_2523

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