Intel shows decline in activity of far-right extremists

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The national intelligence agency, BIS, says that efforts to curb right-wing extremism in the Czech Republic have borne fruit. The agency’s quarterly report on extremism, released this week, shows that the domestic neo-fascist movement is in disarray thanks to several years of heavy crackdowns by the police and the state. Christian Falvey has this report.

Neo-Nazis and far-right extremists in general in the Czech Republic are fragmented, disoriented and concerned – that is the gist of the Security Intelligence Service’s report on its monitoring of extremism in the third quarter of 2010. According to the report, the movement has become passive, nearly resigning on public gatherings and concerts due to the loss of their political platform following the banning of the Workers’ Party and fear of intensified police raids. While BIS makes its observations from the inside of the extremist community, lawyer Klára Kalibová and her association Tolerance and Civic Society have their eye on the movement from the outside, and I asked her if her own perceptions concur with the intelligence report.

“I would agree with BIS. The reason is the counteractions of the police against right-wing extremism in the Czech Republic. So this is no surprise, that right-wing extremism is decreasing. But on the other hand we should be very aware of a possible increase in their activities in the next few months.”

Klára Kalibová
BIS reports that police and media pressure in the Czech Republic is such that the neo-fascist community has begun travelling abroad to Poland and Hungary for larger events and concerts, while domestic meetings are confined of late to private gatherings. The only larger event in the third quarter of 2010 was an annual march in the central town of Svitavy, which was attended by some 200 neo-Nazi sympathisers. Otherwise their assembly has been limited to the internet.

Meanwhile, the report notes that the neo-fascist movement in general is dominated by discussion over its course for the future, with a conservative core at odds with a younger group of activists promoting new trends and forms of promotion, via graffiti and hip hop music, for example.

Despite what the agency calls the movement’s “stagnation”, there are other serious, related problems still at large from Klára Kalibová’s perspective.

“I would like to point out one very important trend, which is the increase of hate crimes in the Czech Republic, which is not visible because the statistics and official data are always the same, but from the point of view of NGOs in the Czech Republic, verbal assaults and even physical assaults are increasing, and the perpetrators are also not necessarily members of right-wing movements”.

Left-wing extremism has not shown any significant activity in the monitored period, according to the Security Intelligence Agency, and confines itself to protests organised by non-extremist groups. Active antifascist activities have declined along with the lapse in right-wing activity, though the far left continues to monitor the fascist movement.