An international conference on marriage equality will take place at the Czech Senate on Thursday, followed by a demonstration in support of the issue nearby. Organisers We Are Fair! are hoping those events will focus fresh attention on a bill, submitted well over a year ago, that would make the Czech Republic the first ex-Eastern Bloc state to permit same-sex marriage. I discussed the reasons the legislation has yet to make it through the first reading with Adéla Horáková, a lawyer with We Are Fair!
T-Club is the name of one of the two gay clubs that operated in the Czech capital under Communism. The place, frequented by the LGBT community, was immortalized in a series of pictures taken by photographer Libuše Jarcovjáková. They are now on display within the Prague Pride festival, which got underway on Monday.
The ninth edition of Prague Pride festival celebrating sexual minorities
gets underway on Monday with a concert on Střelecký Island. The week-long
festival offers over a hundred events, including debates, film screening
and exhibitions. It will culminate on Saturday with a massive parade
through the centre of the city, which is expected to attract around 30,000
The festival’s headline this year is Together Within Reach, which refers to the fact that even today, many same-sex couples still prefer to refrain from public displays of affection.
Final preparations are being made for the ninth edition of the Prague Pride festival. For the first time this year the LGBT rainbow flag will be flown at the city’s Town Hall during the week-long event, which culminates with a massive city centre parade on Saturday August 10. I discussed the theme of the 2019 Prague Pride, and more, with spokesperson Bohdana Rambousková.
Czech police last year detained 4,992 foreigners in the country illegally,
254 more than in 2017. As in previous years, Ukrainians comprised the
largest group, according to a Ministry of the Interior report.
Nearly 1,500 Ukrainians were detained by the police in 2018. Large numbers of Moldovans, Vietnamese, Russians and Georgians illegally in the country were also detained.
Most had entered the country legally but exceeded their permitted stays or had expired visas, the Interior Ministry said. Some have done so repeatedly.
The international volunteer group Food Not Bombs has been providing free food to the homeless and hungry since 1980, and now has branches throughout the Czech Republic. In recent weeks, police and inspectors in an Ostrava district have been preventing volunteers from distributing food on orders from City Hall officials.
An estimated 3,800 foreigners worked illegally in the Czech Republic last
year, almost twice as many as in 2017.
According to a Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs report on combating illegal employment, four-fifths of them were Ukrainians. Many were Slovaks, Romanians or Bulgarians.
The overall numbers have risen because it is more costly for employers to lose out fulfilling orders than are the fines imposed for hiring illegal workers, the Ministry report says.
Its inspectors have focused mainly on construction worksites, warehouses and logistics centres, where hundreds of people are employed.
Social Democrats party chairman Jan Hamáček told journalists on Monday
that his party could withdraw from the coalition government if its senior
partner ANO votes to elect far-right journalist Michal Semin to the council
of state news agency ČTK.
Semin, who has blamed American elites for the 9/11 terror attacks, heads the ultra-conservative movement Akce DOST. Last week, the Federation of Jewish Communities protested against his candidacy, citing his alleged anti-Semitic statements
His candidacy for the ČTK council was proposed by the far-right opposition Freedom and Direct Democracy party. It was also backed by ANO deputies in a first-round vote earlier in June.
Hamáček said that Semin was an “unacceptable” candidate. If ANO voted to support him in the second round on 20 June, there would be no point for the Social Democrats to continue in the coalition government, he said.
Later on Monday, Prime Minister Andrej Babiš, who founded ANO, said his party had not supported Semin’s candidacy and would not back him in future. He said he did not understand why Hamáček said otherwise, calling it “a nonsense”.
Ida Kelarová is a singer, musician and choirmaster who performs some of the best Romany music to come out of the Czech Republic. Paradoxically it was years before she discovered her Romany roots and drew inspiration from Roma culture and music. Today this legacy has become an important part of her life and she works hard to help talented Romany children living in excluded localities in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
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