Articles

Neo-nazi march blockade led to a detour

In Brno, Politics on May 1, 2011 by Petr Bokuvka Tagged: ,

[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).

8 Responses to “Neo-nazi march blockade led to a detour”

  1. The people have spoken.

  2. the piece seems to be on the side of the neo nazis right to march….? This was a protest by roma and czech people of all shapes and sizes against an obviously provocative march…by organised fasicts….. a good thing…some were carrying guns as you said……your piece sounds like you think it was ok for the nazi group to march……and that protestors were somehow stupid to try and stop them…….

    • If it makes you think so, it means I did a bad job describing the event. Personally, I do NOT think the march was okay. What I meant to say was that it was okayed by a court and that this movement had, as the court ruled, the right to “meet and go”. The question was, of course, what would happen en route, in which case the authorities had the option to declare the march illegal.

    • Allegedly, one of them had a gas pistol – what a dangerous weapon.
      Since there was no legal ground to prohibit the march it is rather difficult to say they should not march.

  3. There is no reason to doubt you,the people of brno express their feelings clearling.NO TO RACISM

  4. I seriously feel pity for those police men. They are brave really!
    Cheers to them!

  5. It’s not even only Czechs and Romanis that were there. Germans, Greeks, Cypriots, Norwegians and Israeli students attended as well. Whether the march was stopped or if it was allowed to continue does not matter per se – what matters is that there is a united front against those with clear discriminating opinions to send a signal that fascism is not acceptable! By being a non-violent, passive blockade, we all accomplished that, and the fact that not even a single person from the blockade was apprehended by the police, yet 15 of the “neo-nazis” were, underlines how successful this was. I was proud to be a part of the march, standing alongside an international group of people uniting against those trying to oppress a minority!

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