May Day celebrations in the Czech Republic
Compared to previous years, May Day celebrations in the Czech Republic were much quieter this year. And that is despite the fact that parliamentary elections are just seven weeks away and some parties used May Day meetings as part of their pre-election campaign. Pavla Horakova has more.
Labour Day is traditionally observed by anarchists, who organise demonstrations against capitalism and the state. Far-right extremists, meanwhile, also hold their own demonstrations. In previous years clashes between the two groups often ended in violence, but this May Day was relatively peaceful and Prague was spared any major incidents. Around 400 anarchists and an equal number of far-right skinheads gathered in Brno, the second largest city in the country, but police managed to keep the two groups apart and nobody was injured, although stones were thrown at the police. Psychologist Karel Humhal says young activists and extremists have different motivations to participate in demonstrations than the generation of their parents.
"Young people who belong to various interest groups to put it mildly, they have a completely different motivation. They take participation in May Day demonstrations as an opportunity to express their opinion, to let the public know about their aims and policies. They want to make themselves more visible."