Czech neo-Nazis far weaker than seemed in late 2008 – analyst

Prague– Czech neo-Nazis are far weaker than it seemed at the beginning of their protests in a Romany vicinity that resulted in a clash with the police last autumn and that was supported by a part of the country’s majority population, Jan Charvat, who specialises in extremism, has told CTK.
Ondrej Cakl, from the Tolerance and civic society association, said extremist events throughout the country were visited by the same people from regional groups of the National Resistance, the Workers’ Party and the Autonomous Nationalists.

Charvat said he estimated the number of the leading Czech neo-Nazi activists at 20.

According to him, Czech politicians and the media overestimate the problem.

“Even though a lot of people agree with racism and they nod to opposition to homosexuals, once it is declared ‘We are clearly against neo-Nazism’, all of them will say ‘Yes, that’s right,” Charvat said.

He said neo-Nazis were no threat for the Czech political system at present.

“They can by no means seize power or even try to do so in any way,” Charvat concluded.

Cakl said Czech neo-Nazis have been incapable of profiting from the 2008 march through Janov that “has been the biggest far-right demonstration since 1989.”

He recalled that some 900 extremists and 200 to 300 locals took part in the march through the Janov housing estate in Litvinov, north Bohemia, on November 17, 2008.

The extremists presented themselves as protectors of the local majority population in Janov that is inhabited mainly by Romany rent-defaulters against whose behaviour the non-Romanies complain but say the authorities are doing nothing to solve the situation.

Other far-right events did not receive much support from local people and the number of participating extremists was not so high either.

“I cannot understand why they did not organise another event in Janov and why they did not continue with their efforts there,” Cakl told CTK.

He noted that only 400 radicals joined a march through Prerov, north Moravia, in April, while the organisers expected 600 to 800 people to come.

Charvat pointed out that the Czech neo-Nazis were a movement rather than an organisation with leaders who would be able to move it in some direction.

He said he believed the radicals were easy to mobilise but only for a short time.

Charvat said the far-right extremists actually seemed “taken by surprise by what occurred in Janov and they did not know at all what to do with it.”

“If they had any opportunity, they failed to use it,” he added.

Cakl said the big march in Janov was a result of an incident happening two weeks before it when a far-right group patrolling the Romany neighbourhood was stopped by the local Romanies armed with sticks and golf clubs who called them names and spit on them.

The video of the incident was then posted on the Internet as part of an invitation to further far-right protests.

zdroj: ..:. CeskeNoviny.cz :

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