Today’s anti-Romani march in Varnsdorf passed provocatively by the Sport residential hotel twice today, which houses Romani tenants. Local ethnic Czechs have labeled it as one of the most trouble-making spots in the town. Demonstrators from the ranks of the ultra-right extremist DSSS party carried banners and flags reading, for example “Stop Black Racism” (“Stop černému rasismu”). Nationalist slogans such as “Nothing but the nation” (“Nic než národ”) and “Bohemia for the Czechs”, (“Čechy Čechům”) were chanted, as was the slogan “Gypsies to work” (“Cikáni do práce”).
The marchers first headed for the place where Romani people reportedly attacked a group of non-Romani people on New Year’s Day. A woman who was present when her family members were attacked, but who was not assaulted herself, later died in hospital. Demonstrators lit candles and stood at the site for several minutes. They then returned the way they had come, passing by the Sport residential hotel once more.
Several Romani people watched the march from the windows of the hotel, but no conflicts occurred. This was most probably due to the police presence; a helicopter circled the town and undercover officers and vans were deployed.
A 10-member group of demonstrators separated from the main march and attempted to provoke a conflict with Romani people at a nearby housing estate, but members of a police anti-conflict team calmed the situation. At around 15:00 the march returned to the town square. People had gradually separated from the march, so only about 100 people total returned. The square was empty by 15:30.