Anti-Roma march planned in Duchcov (Field trip report II)

About 1000 people expected to march against Roma in Duchcov on the 22nd of June 2013

The anti-Roma demonstration in Duchcov, dated on 28th of May 2013 has a severe aftermath (see also article on the website
According to Jan Čonka, an eye-witness of the demonstration and the subsequent attempt of neonazis to march „down-town“ to the quarter inhabited mainly by Roma, the mob shouted „Murder them, the black swine“.
As the daily Právo reported on 30th of May, since the anti-Roma demonstration in Duchcov dated on 28th of May the streets of the town are almost deserted. People are afraid of leaving their houses.
The traditional celebration of the Childrens’ Day long-term planned for 31st of May was cancelled by the Town Office officially due to bad weather, most probably however for safety reasons, and postponed to the 16th of June.

New incident

On the 4th of June the commercial TV broadcasting station Nova TV published an article on its internet news server claiming that on the day before four Roma children have attacked a 12-year-old “boy”. Immediately other news servers quoted the news and sparked another wave of racism on the internet. On the 5th of May the Czech daily “Blesk” (equivalent to the British “Sun” or the German “Bild”) claimed the same. The TV Nova news was based on a single statement of a woman on facebook. Later the police informed that the information was highly misleading. It was a mutual conflict of boys (see below).

“Public meeting with citizens”

On June 4 2013 the Town Office of Duchcov staged a Meeting with Citizens in the local Town Culture centre. The main issue were safety of citizens and the inter-ethnic relations in town. About 200 people joined the meeting, about 40 of them Roma, Mr Klika, Councillor of the Regional government of Ústí nad Labem, an employee of the governmental Agency for Social Inclusion, members of the pro-Roma NGO Konexe.

The lady mayor Jitka Bártová was surprised that Roma joined the meeting. Apparently she was not prepared for this. The participating Roma confirmed that they share this fear. In the beginning the mayor gave the floor only to non-Roma. Once again many “white” citizens of the town complained about the Roma in the whole mainly for their fear of attacks against their children or themselves. Soon Roma citizens of the town insisted to be allowed to speak up as well. They complained about the implementation of collective guilt of all Roma for deeds of individuals.

Mrs Bártová complained about the government and insufficient legislative action. According to her the governmental Agency for Social Inclusion did not support the town government at all. The director of the agency however claims that the town did not follow his advises to stop privatization of houses inhabited by Roma and thus does not prevent social exclusion. Therefore the agency decided to quit cooperating with the town government recently.

The mayor complained about Roma once again. One of the issues was the coming Casanova-Festival and its eventual cancelling for safety reasons. Giacomo Girolamo Casanova was born in Venice, Italy, but spent the end of his life on the castle of Dux. The traditional festival is taking place on the second weekend of June every year. The mayor is afraid of more violence disturbing the festival.

Some Roma called upon the mayor to employ Roma as auxiliary police forces for the prevention of criminality. According to town officials the proposal was refused. Ms Barbora Bočková, head of the local pro-Roma NGO Květina said that she will file a criminal complaint for slander and damage of her reputation against the mayor. Jan Dufek, one of the three men, who had staged the demonstration of the 28th of May said, that best solution would be liquidation of Roma (see photos of Mr Dufek on the website of the Czech Antifascist action).

During the public meeting in Duchcov Petr Sytař, the head of the Teplice District Police told the audience about the first results of its investigation in terms of the mentioned incident with children stressing that it was no attack but a brawl and that four of the participants were “Czech” children and only one Roma boy involved (in the age of 7-12 years). Not only one boy was lightly injured. There was no grievous body harm. “It was an ordinary kids’ scuffle”, he said. So far TV Nova has not released an up-dating article. Since years this TV station is known for its struggle to gain audience by releasing racism sparking features.

On the 5th of May the lady mayor of Duchcov negotiated the situation in town with Jitka Gjuričová, an official of the Ministry of the Interior.

Counter action

For the coming weeks and months the North-Bohemia-based pro-Roma NGO Konexe registered daily demonstrations in all areas inhabited predominantly by Roma. On the 22nd of June therefore the neonazi party DSSS will not be able to hold their planned demonstration on the main square, but according to its website on the square nám. Legií. The NGO Konexe is planning to protect Roma just by the presence of participants of its demonstration in the street (see official website of the town Duchcov for all public demonstrations).

Public petition for expulsion of Roma

On the 4th of June 2013 a public petition for a bill to remove “asocial – inadaptable” Roma from Czech Republic was launched on the internet. It ends with the words “We are afraid of harm on our lives and health! Do something!” Within one day more than 1000 people signed the petition, within two days 4000. Most probably this is a reaction to the conflict in Duchcov, dated on 18th of May (see previous report). So far we do not know who initiated the petition. Fortunately such internet petition do not have any impact on government action.

On the facebook page of the petition you can find direct calls for violent attacks such as Radek Putniorz: “Strilet ne psat petice” (“no petitions, but shooting”).

Media review:

Huge floods in Bohemia

In the beginning of June huge floods devastated lots of towns in Bohemia, hundreds of towns are concerned, thousands of people had to be evacuated, hundreds of houses got flooded and severely damaged. Due to the floods the Roma issue was not in the centre of public attention in the last days. As usual Roma are once again primary suspects of looting and plundering. In the shelters conflicts between Roma and non-Roma flood refugees are usual and can spark more racism. Therefore HR NGOs expect lots of more tensions possible culminating in clashes on the 22nd of June in Duchcov.

Invitation to Duchcov

The neonazi party DSSS and the Czech hardcore-neonazi server National resistance are inviting to join action in Duchcov:

22nd of June 2013
15 p.m. nám. Legií – meeting with speeches
16 p.m. march route: nám. Legií, Skladištní, Husova, Lípová, Masarykova, Bednářova, Ferrerova, nám. Jiřího z Poděbrad.

Usually the violent neonazis do not join the official action or march, but gather somewhere else in order to attack Roma in places not guarded by the police by small units. There is also a first neonazi motivating video for demonstration and march in Duchcov.
Regarding the rapidly rating number of people promising participation in the neonazi demonstration about 1000 people to be expected to join the anti-Roma-march in Duchcov (see Facebook invitation).

The streets inhabited mainly by Roma, that have been registered by the NGO Konexe for 22nd of June 2013, are: Square nám. Republiky, streets Míru, Bílinská, Studniční, Havířská, Nádražní, Riegerova, Bratří Čapků. Konexe is planning a street party and is inviting bands from Czech Republic and other countries. Most probably the police will once again block the access roads and will not let any people without permanent stay in Duchcov into the town – apart from tourists however. Therefore Konexe is preparing private accommodation facilities for the whole weekend.

The small town Duchcov is one of the most charming towns in Czech Republic suitable for family trips. The 22nd of June might the very day to discover its marvellous sights, get to know Roma citizens and celebrate the end of the recent floods. Town pubs offer splendid food and great Czech beer. Come to Duchcov, get to know Roma and other Czechs, let the sun shine in (see also englisch or german wikipedia about Duchcov).

Text from an actvist – thank you for making it available for public!

Source: Ecoleusti
Date: 04.06.2013