Neo-Nazi groups plan revenge for Kristallnacht fiasco
The failure of neo-Nazis to march through Prague’s Jewish quarter – and the subsequent skirmishes between skinheads and anarchist demonstrators – have certainly dominated the headlines in recent days. Images of battered and bloodied skinheads being taken away by police were flashed around the world’s media, who described Saturday as a fiasco for the far right. But could next weekend turn into a second instalment?
“The neo-Nazis’ Waterloo” was how Lidove Noviny newspaper described Saturday’s clashes, featuring an image of a neo-Nazi skinhead, his nose bleeding and looking very much worse for wear. The far-right – massively outnumbered by black-clad anarchist demonstrators – certainly received a bloody nose on Saturday. But observers believe the neo-Nazis are now out for revenge. A group calling themselves “Autonomous Nationalists” have released a statement on their website, calling for a gathering at 2pm on Saturday to “mourn the death of the freedom of speech.” Klara Kalibova monitors far-right extremism for an NGO called Tolerance and Civic Society:
Groups such as Tolerance and Civic Society warn that the far-right is becoming more and more active in the Czech Republic. The number of racially-motivated attacks is down compared to the 1990s, when skinhead attacks on Romanies and foreigners – including several murders - were common. Now, warn observers, such groups are making a concerted bid for political respectability.