For the last two years, there has been a remarkable growth of neo-nazi activities and provocations in Czech Republic. There are also obvious neo-nazis’ attempts to get in politics. These attempts are being legally covered by Dělnická strana (DS). Members of DS have been known for attacking Sudeten Germans and now they are giving speeches on National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD) meetings. It is no surprise that many names of the modern nazis known for their heiling, denying holocaust and violent actions are now appearing on the candidacy tickets of DS for county council elections.
A year ago, nazis showed their anti-semitism by provoking actions in Prague and Pilsen. Then, wide range of people from radical antifascists to legislators stood up against them. Neo-nazis failed. That’s why they decided to concentrate on the Romany. In October and December, approximately 700 neo-nazis made two attempts of unprecedented pogrom on Janov housing estate, situated in the suburb of Litvínov, town in the north bohemia. This time, there was no strong denouncement from the representatives. What a paradox - they were offended, when the historical Jewish town was at stake, but now, when existing, present-day Romany town is in danger, they pretend not to see anything. And that’s just one of the pieces of evidence that Romany are considered second-class citizens in Czech Republic.
Another alarming thing is the wave of anti-Romany racism that Nazis managed to awake in many people. Therefore we could have witnessed such things as people demanding the police to let the armed nazis on Romany, who were demonstrating against racism. Would these people be happy if there were some dead Romany in the end? Do these people realize that they are calling for a genocide of a whole ethnic group?
There are estate agencies in the backround of these affairs, making profit on moving the inconvenient inmates from lucrative areas to a dead-end housing estate on the north. Local representatives are keen on making money by selling the buildings for those inconvenient inmates to the estate agencies. And all this is happening without any consideration to the problems this bargain is causing. The profit goes to the representatives and estates agents, the problems go to the people. When a big number of socially excluded people is gathered on a small space in a short time, problems arise. What will politicians do? Well, it is the work of invisible hand of the free market, so the resistance is futile.
We are not about to watch in silence when profit of the few brings tons of problems to the many. We also do not deny the existing problem - annoying behavior of some of the Romany inhabitants of Janov, that is making life of the denizens (both white and Romany) harder. There are deeper roots of the problems between the majority and Romany in Czech Republic, but they do not excuse criminal behavior. Big number of socially excluded people gathered in ghettos create problematic situation even for themselves, because the atmosphere in ghettos along with the lack of interest from politicians, office holders and the public are demotivating them and making it harder to escape the social trap.
We will not stand by and watch neither DS trying to benefit from these problems, nor the attempts to organize pogroms. Neo-nazis are talking about solutions, but they don’t say what is the solution. If they did, they’d have to admit the solution means another liquidation of a whole ethnic group. The number of their recent victims is a warning. Let’s take a stand against these attempts now, so we don’t have to watch worse atrocity in the future.
Why have we chosen Prague for our antifascist demonstration, why do we prefer Prague to contra-action in Janov? First, we want to avoid the media from simplifying our action to the “two groups of extremists came to fight” image. Second, it is Prague where the people responsible for these problems are located. Estate agencies that are making profit on moving the inconvenient inmates to one place. Government and politicians who are allowing this and can’t see beyond the borders of Prague, not to mention they are not occupying themselves with the social problems and ghettos. Last but not least, the leaders of DS, who are traveling out of Prague to expand and spread racism and hatred all over the country.
We are appealing to everyone who disapproves and hates racist attacks and other action of modern Nazi descendants. Join our protest! This is an appeal mainly to those who are or will be the most affected by these attacks - minorities defined by their ethnicity or sexual identity, alternative youth, subcultures an many more.
We don’t want to cause a battle, we want to show our attitude with dignity and to demonstrate our abhorrence to the violence committed by extreme right members and supporters.
Lets’ s say our NO to racism, neo-nazism and xenophobia!
Antifascist action (AFA)