Several hundred ethnic Czechs marched through the town of Varnsdorf for two hours yesterday in an attempt to attack Romani residents of the Sport residential hotel. Approximately 250 people assembled on the town square and hundreds more joined the mob as it proceeded through town. Police eventually closed down all streets leading to the residential hotel before 19:00 and halted the protesters.
The protest gathering against the allegedly rising number of incidences of crime being perpetrated by Romani people in the Šluknov foothills was convened by the neo-Nazi “Free Youth” (Svobodná mládež) movement and was not announced to officials. Local Romani people gathered at the residential hotel in the afternoon in order to prevent any eventual attack.
The mob met on the square at 17:00 and started marching to the residential hotel a few minutes later, where around 150 local Romani people were waiting for them. Police did their best to prevent the mob’s advance and a street war was unleashed in the town. Whenever those at the head of the march encountered riot officers, the rest separated and took a different route. Ethnic Czechs broke through a police cordon on one of the bridges across the Mandava, but riot officers succeeded in halting their advance after only a few meters.