Around 400 people attended a neo-Nazi rock concert at Ochoz near Brno on
Saturday evening. The event was monitored by hundreds of police officers.
One of the organisers said the attentions of the state and the media had
put off some would-be attendees, while most of the far-right rock groups
slated to play at the outdoor concert also pulled out. Another such event
is planned for the Pardubice area in east Bohemia the weekend after next.
Experts on extremism have told the Czech Press Agency they believe the Czech far right is planning to try to enter politics at the national level. The neo-Nazis long-term strategy involves a concerted effort to not break the law in order to gain broader support with an eye to eventually entering Parliament, a member of the Czech Helsinki Committee said. The Interior Ministry recently said it would put more energy into monitoring far-right groups.
Several hundred far right supporters are expected to attend a neo-Nazi concert which is to be held in Ochoz near Brno on Saturday. The event is officially announced as a rock and metal concert but specialists in extremism say the bands openly support racism and neo-Nazism. About 100 policemen will monitor the event.
A small far-right political group is preparing a document calling for the relocation of the Czech Republic’s Roma population to India, Lidové noviny reported. The National Party have titled the 150-page document “The Final Solution to the Question of Gypsies in the Czech Lands”. The party say they themselves would buy land in India for the “repatriation”. Condemning the proposal, Romany leader Ivan Veselý told the paper his people had been living in this part of the world for 500 years. He said, however, he was not surprised by the use of anti-Romany rhetoric.
A march held by far-right extremists in Svitavy on Saturday passed off without incident, police said. Some 200 neo-Nazis gathered in the Eastern Bohemian town to march in protest against what they believe to be the wrongful conviction of Vlastimil Pechanec, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison for stabbing a Romany man outside a club. The march lasted two hours, in the course of which no violence erupted. Over 100 policemen were drafted in to oversee the protest.
This week in Business News, TV Prima makes money broadcasting the Euro 2008, despite the Czech team's exit; women managers on the rise; good trade results see the Czech crown break a new record against the Euro; the haléř is on its way out and drivers flock to independent gas stations in search of cheaper fuel.
Forty-seven percent of Czechs would be against having a Romany neighbour, according to a new Europe-wide study by Eurobarometer. That puts the Czech Republic alongside Italy as the European Union states where there is most distaste for the idea of a Romany living next door. Ten percent of Czechs said they would see no problem in having such a neighbour, the lowest rate among the 27 members of the EU.
A third man has been charged with disorderly conduct following Saturday’s gay rights march in Brno. The march, which was the first of its kind in the Czech Republic, was disrupted when an unknown perpetrator threw tear gas at revelers. Two of those arrested have been charged with disturbance of the peace, having thrown eggs at gay rights campaigners, the third man is charged with propagating Nazism, having worn an SS belt. An estimated 150 far-right extremists turned out to protest against Saturday’s march. Police are still searching for the individual who threw the tear gas, injuring 20.
The first-ever gay parade in the Czech Republic took to the streets of Brno on Saturday, despite threats by neo-Nazi and other extremist groups. Even a heavy police presence at the march failed to prevent attacks by anti-gay protesters who shouted insults and even threw tear gas at marching gay rights activists.
Interior Minister Ivan Langer has suggested that the ultra-right National Party could be dissolved in the future if it breaches the law. He made the comments in a Czech TV broadcast on Sunday, saying the non-parliamentary extremist party knew how to manoeuvre on the edge of legislation and was careful not to go over the limits. The interior minister was reacting to attacks by 150 activists from the party and other far-right groups against gays in Brno on Saturday, in which some threw fire crackers at participants and an unknown perpetrator threw a tear gas grenade into a crowd. Preaching "law and order," National Party followers have adopted an aggressive stance against foreigners and Romanies. The opposition has criticised Mr Langer for not taking sufficient steps.
Around 20 right-wing extremists attempted to disrupt a gay rights event at a Brno club on Saturday evening but were prevented from doing so by police. The move by extremists was a follow-up to events earlier in the day. In the afternoon some 500 gays and lesbians took part in a gay pride parade - the first of its kind in the Czech Republic. Around 200 police were on hand to prevent an estimated 150 extremists from causing violence. But chaos ensued shortly after the parade ended, when an unknown perpetrator threw a tear gas grenade into a local crowd. Police have not arrested anyone for the incident, but detained some 15 suspects for various misdemeanours. Two were charged with disorderly conduct.
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