Photos by Matthew Thompson:
Processing and Development of Film was done by: Ladislav Vavrik
There have been a number of anti-roma demonstrations and marches in the Czech Republic over the past year, some of which have resulted in violent clashes with the police. In Ostrava, typically, there is a gathering with a few speeches, organized by the DSSS party or a splinter group the DSSS, called the Czech Lions, after which demonstrators attempt to march to neighborhoods or hostels known to be primarily inhabited by Roma. Typical slogans as they march would include, “Black bitches,” “Gypsies to work,” and “Czech for Czechs.” Some demonstrators arrive prepared for confrontation, wearing masks, carrying flares and fireworks. There are frequently much smaller counter-demonstrations in the Roma community, one of which, (on October 28th) resulted in a spontaneous counter-march. When police block the marches from reaching the Roma neighborhoods or hostels, there is frequently a battle between demonstrators and the police.