Monday, August 12, 2013


But ordinary citizens have also staged anti-Roma marches. On Sept. 10, about...
                          Ordinary citizens have also staged anti-Roma marches. 
              Here, about 1,000 locals and far-right demonstrators gathered in Varnsdorf.

It amazes me how little attention is given to the rise of outright nazism in the Czech Republic by either the mainstream press or leftists.  No one seems to give a damn.  Roma communities and Roma individuals are under constant attack and faced with nazi terror, and the world in general says, "whatever."

The truth is it isn't just nazi thugs like those described in the first post below who are the problem, it is regular, everyday, Czech citizens, those ordinary local folks.    BIS, the Czech intelligence service,  pointed out early this year, 

Anti-Romany moods in a part of the Czech society may become a more serious problem for the country's security than groups of rightist extremists, the BIS counter-intelligence service...

"If there is even a minor impulse, their everyday problems and their frustration provoked by them combined with latent anti-Gypsyism are expressed openly and result in more radical manifestations."

Social Watch concurs.  The Prague Daily Monitor writes,

The report ( from Social Watch) writes about the serious problem of "attempts at pogroms" on Romanies.

It says minor or seeming conflicts can spark off the pogroms. The report highlights the case from Breclav, south Moravia, in which a 15-year-old boy was injured. He falsely claimed that he had been beaten up by Romanies.

This provoked anti-Romany demonstrations in the town that "would have turned into a pogrom if the police had not intervened," the report said.

The report also described the riots targeting Romanies in Duchcov, north Bohemia, and Ceske Budejovice, south Bohemia, this year.

Amnesty International says,

Discrimination affects Roma in all aspects of society, including housing, health care and employment. The last years have seen an upsurge in violent attacks against Roma...

“The situation is extremely tense in the Czech Republic at the moment, with far right groups rapidly gaining in influence. Many Roma families and activists we talk to fear for their safety, in particular ahead of demonstrations like those planned tomorrow,” said Dezideriu Gergely, Executive Director of the ERRC (European Roma Rights Center).

Of course, the racism goes far beyond the Czech Republic and is a fact of life across Europe today. Grattan Puxon, 73, who co-authored the first book about the Nazi Porrajmos or 'devouring' committed against the Roma.  –Gypsies Under The Swastika -  says, .

 "It's not just remembering what happened under Hitler, but also that we see many thousands of Roma being persecuted again by Nazis in Europe. I have been doing this for 50 years and people are sensing that there is danger again. The Roma are vilified so that the public will accept them being singled out for brutal and unfair treatment. It's disheartening to see the amount of anti-Gypsy feeling."

The first post below is from   The second is from   Ekklesia.

Czech Republic: Neo-Nazis repeatedly assault Romani social worker in Duchcov
Duchcov, 10.8.2013 1:22, (ROMEA)

Jan Dufek (PHOTO: Antifa)
Jan Dufek (PHOTO: Antifa)

Jan Dufek and Jindřich "Pinďa" Svoboda, two antigypsyists known for having said they want Romani people to be murdered off, have been targeting Štefan Horvát of Duchcov, who works for the Květina (Flower) civic association as a field social worker. Horvát says these men have been the protagonists in two incidents of both physical and verbal assault against him.
The persecution began during an anti-Romani event earlier this summer, when neo-Nazis threw a plastic bottle at the social worker. In mid-July about 70 Romani people had gathered on Karel Čapek Street in Duchcov in response to a neo-Nazi gathering supported by several local "whites".
Some of the right-wing extremists set out for Karel Čapek Street after gathering on the main square. Police prevented them from marching into the Romani neighborhood.
"A small group of neo-Nazis and locals from Duchcov came here and started cursing at me. Then a black car drove up with four people inside, two guys and two females. One guy pulled out a plastic bottle half full of beer and threw it at me," Štefan Horvát told news server at the time.
Social worker Zlatuše Tomášová confirmed Horvát's account, adding that "police detained the Nazis and took them in for interrogation along with the victim." Police had to address two such incidents related to the assembly in Duchcov that day.
"Those incidents are currently qualified as misdemeanors against civil coexistence," police spokesperson Veronika Hyšplerová has told news server Horvát says he has also been informed that the man who threw the bottle at him will be fined, primarily thanks to his testimony.
Assaults on the street
Initially it seemed possible that the bottle-throwing incident was random and not worth taking too seriously. However, a second, more serious assault on Horvát soon followed.
"A week ago I was walking home from work after 18:00. On the way, Jan Dufek saw me as he was riding his bicycle. He headed straight for me on the sidewalk. Luckily I heard him coming and turned around right when he was about to crash into me, so he only clipped the bag on my shoulder. I was terribly startled," Horvát told news server
Horvát has filed an official complaint against Dufek and requested a misdemeanor proceeding. Jana Víchová, the staffer in charge of misdemeanor hearings at the town hall, is currently on vacation, so news server will report on the state of the investigation into this matter when she returns.
Assault at the swimming pool
Last Saturday Štefan Horvát took his three children to the swimming pool. When they went to buy some refreshments at a stand, about eight neo-Nazis, all of whom had attended the anti-Roma march, began to harass them, led by Jindřich Svoboda, who organized one of the recent anti-Roma events there together with Dufek.
Svoboda used a tablet to photograph Horvát and his children from a distance of about five centimeters away, laughing at them the whole time. "They shouted racist insults at us the whole time, 'black fucks', 'Gyppos', etc. Dufek started to shout that I was the gypsy thief who snitched on him. They evidently wanted to spark an argument. I stayed calm and told them to leave us alone. We went back to the water but the children were terribly afraid and wanted to leave immediately. When the other Romani people there saw we were leaving, they also packed up and left too. The Nazis shouted after all of us derisively. We took an indirect route home, just to be sure they couldn't follow us," Horvát said. He intends to file criminal charges over this incident.  
Roma refuse to negotiate with neo-Nazis
This week representatives of the Romani community in Duchcov rejected an offer from Mayor Jitka Bártová to participate in round table negotiations with the neo-Nazi Svoboda (Dufek was most probably invited to participate as well). Svoboda is a member of the Workers' Social Justice Party (DSSS), convened at least one of the recent anti-Romani events in Duchcov together with Dufek, and is organizing more for the future.
Bártová tried to calm the situation after the first neo-Nazi demonstration was held in her town this year by convening a public discussion. When that meeting was over, Míra Brož of the Konexe association held the following exchange with Dufek and Svoboda, which was captured on video:
Brož:  "Really, gentlemen, every march exacerbates the situation and makes it worse."
Dufek: "That's good, the people will finally rise up and murder them all off."
It can be deduced from this statement that Dufek and Svoboda are holding anti-Romani demonstrations in order to deteriorate and exacerbate the situation to such a degree that non-Romani people begin to murder Romani people. Even though only Dufek was captured saying this on camera, news server previously reported that Svoboda expressed himself in those same words on his Facebook profile, as follows:
"So finally it's out! The secret video of the assault in Duchcov! Those black fuckers! They should all be massacred! How much longer will we tolerate this? I propose that it is time to unite and fucking give them what for! I'm going to go throw up and then I'm going to sharpen my knives...."
Bártová:  The DSSS has not been banned, so it's ok
Mayor Bártová has expressed astonishment that someone would be opposed to attending a round table together with DSSS representatives, as the party is not banned. "I can believe whatever I like about various political parties, but that doesn't mean I won't negotiate with them," the mayor said.
Posting to a Facebook discussion about the incident at the swimming pool, the mayor was duplicitous:  At first she made no statement about the reported behavior of the DSSS members, instead claiming that Romani children really do bother people and that some citizens believe Roma get free entry to the swimming pool (a rumor she herself has already refuted). 
The Anti-Fascist Action organization has reported that both of the men convening anti-Romani events in Duchcov are neo-Nazis. "Dufek is a longtime neo-Nazi activist. He has been previously convicted of giving the Nazi salute, weapons possession, and welfare fraud. He has reportedly also previously participated, along with a larger group of people, in attacking a group of Romani people in Slovakia. While standing on the main square in the town of Krupina there, he first insulted Romani people, gave the Nazi salute, threatened to shoot them in the head, and then physically assaulted them," Antifa wrote in a press release earlier this year.
Svoboda recently faced the possibility of spending between two and eight years in prison for fraud. He was eventually sentenced by a court in Teplice to three years in prison and five years on parole.
The case marked the first time the court has upheld a plea agreement reached between a defendant and a state prosecutor. "I claimed reimbursement for costs related to my travel to Thomayer Hospital in Prague for chemotherapy without authorization," Svoboda told the court as part of the plea agreement.
From April 2008 until February 2012, Svoboda was paid almost CZK 950 000 by the VZP public health insurer as reimbursement for trips related to his cancer treatment - trips which either never took place or for which he was not entitled to reimbursement. He will have to return the money to the insurance company.
Svoboda is unemployed, so paying the money back will not be easy. "Momentarily I am unemployed and on disability. I have been promised a job in Duchcov as an electrician and maintenance man. Once that begins I would like to start payments," Svoboda promised the listeners of Czech Radio this past February.
Members of the Duchcov cell of the DSSS described the incident at the swimming pool as follows on their Facebook page:
"Today the local organization of the Workers' Social Justice Party, together with several other dissatisfied citizens of the town of Duchcov, visited the local swimming pool to determine what was actually going on with the oppression of majority-society citizens by the Romani minority. Immediately after arriving, we noticed an unusual disturbance among the Romani people there, who began to immediately warn one another that some guys with short hair had come to the swimming pool... We properly followed everything going on at the swimming pool and fortunately did not notice any conflicts or assaults being committed by the Roma (evidently thanks to our presence). After about a half an hour the Romani families began to pack up and leave the swimming pool en masse, for which two majority-society citizens came over to thank us. After most of the Roma had left the swimming pool, we determined that there was basically no one left there to keep an eye on, so we set off for our homes... At the exit the lady at the cash register informed us that several Roma had demanded their entry fees back, claiming they had to go home because of 'Nazis', that they had not had time to swim, and that they did not feel safe at the swimming pool. What would it look like if every majority-society citizen of Duchcov said they want their money back because they don't feel safe when gypsies are at the swimming pool...?"    
DSSS leader Vandas has posted his thanks to the cell for their successful action.
František Kostlán, translated by Gwendolyn Albert


Roma remember holocaust and protest mistreatment

By staff writers

Romani rights activists have commemorated the Roma Holocaust and protested at Europe’s continued mistreatment of them.

The event took place last weekend, and has been followed up by continued human rights advocacy over the past week.

It was on 2 August 1944 that Nazi guards at Auschwitz murdered almost 3,000 Roma at its ‘Gypsy family camp’.

This has become the memorial day of the Roma Holocaust – or Porajmos (the ‘devouring’) in which an estimated half a million Roma people were killed .

Romani rights activists gathered in Hyde Park, in London, to learn the lessons of this history and to take heed of an anti-Roma racism that is reaching fever pitch across Europe, reports the Institute of Race Relations - a research and campaigning organisation that has taken up Roma rights as a major issue.

Ekklesia has reported the significant and growing hostility, abuse and violence towards Roma people and travelling communities in Hungary, Romania and a range of other European countries over the past few years.

The day began with a protest outside the Czech embassy, against the rise of neo-Nazi attacks against the Roma in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, IRR reports.

Delegates from the Halifax Roma Group, Europe Roma, the Roma Virtual Network, the European Roma Rights Centre and Derby’s Roma Community Care were among those who gathered to hand a letter of protest to the Czech Ambassador.

The group then travelled to Hyde Park’s Holocaust Memorial to meet others who had come to commemorate the Porajmos.

Grattan Puxon, a Gypsy, Roma and Traveller rights activist, told IRR News that the same Nazi feeling of the 1940s was gathering pace today: "We see the racism against Roma turning into ever more acts of violence and murder almost everywhere in Europe."

"The problem is even mainstream governments are failing to curb the threatening revival of fascism and are themselves adopting anti-Roma policies – which include mass evictions and deportations," Gratton pointed out.

The next stop was the French embassy, for a protest against the enforced evictions of Romani people from camps on the outskirts of Paris, before protestors made their way to Marble Arch, where, earlier this year, the process was mirrored – homeless Romani people were rounded up by the Metropolitan Police, with the aid of Romanian police officers and UKBA immigration enforcement officers, in a ‘voluntary’ deportation programme bizarrely dubbed Operation Chefornak.

The protests of 2 August were a timely rebuke to a mainstream media that blames Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people for their own persecution, misdiagnosing the rise of violent anti-Roma fascism as a response to the inherent criminality of the persecuted, rather than the result of a pan-European policy of criminalisation, pauperisation and deportation.

Acknowledgements to IRR.

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