[EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS INSIDE] On May 1, one is supposed to kiss one’s girlfriend under a cherry tree. Political movements have a worse idea – to celebrate May Day by meeting, talking and marching. About twelve hundred ordinary people decided to protest in the streets of Brno today against a parade of a political movement that is claimed to have neo-nazi attributes. The parade was permitted, the blockade was spontaneous. The result: the parade did take place, but it was rerouted.
The parade was planned to lead through a neighborhood were most Roma live (Cejl). Long before the march was to start, hundreds of people (most of them Roma, but also including students, families and pensioners) had created a human bottle stopper. However, the police had the right to tell them to leave, as the march was okayed by the court (which does not mean that I say it was okay / ed.). Soon it became obvious that it would be impossible to order all protesters to leave peacefully. So the march-goers went the opposite direction, otherwise they would have met with the protesters in the earliest stage, rendering the actual parade impossible.
While the march was underway, the police and other authorities waited whether or not there would be any illegal activity on the part of the attendees, because it would give the police the legal right to call the whole thing off as illegal, malum prohibitum, not malum per se. It did not happen and the march got dangerously close to the waiting protesters. The police therefore ordered that the parade take a right turn for a minor detour. It was amazing to see the dozens, if not hundreds, of young Roma boys lining up in front of the combat gear cops, just yards away from their homes, while many of the march-goers were from out of town…
Eventually, however, the parade ended where it started, which inevitably led to some smaller clashes. A total of 15 people were arrested for various offenses (including the possession of a firearm in public or failure to comply with police officer’s orders).