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Prague City Hall bans demonstration in support of refugees

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Prague, July 15 (CTK) – The Prague City Hall has banned a Saturday meeting in support of refugees since the same place on Wenceslas Square in the centre was reserved earlier for a rally of immigration opponents, organised by the extremist National Democracy (ND), the City Hall has announced.
Three events in the Prague centre are scheduled for Saturday.
At 14:00, the people opposed to hateful signs and spread of fear of the refugees will meet at the lower part of Wenceslas square.
At 15:00, a rally of those who do not want migrants in the Czech Republic is to be held at St Wenceslas statue on the square.
At 17:00, a “popular camp” of the groupings and extremists who demand immediate closure of the borders and the Czech Republic’s withdrawal from the EU will start at the bottom of Wenceslas Square.
The fourth event to express solidarity with refugees was to be staged at the same place from 16:00. Its organisers announced it to the City Hall on July 9.
“However, on July 2, the City Hall received an announcement about a meeting against immigration, against quotas and for departure from the EU convoked by the National Democracy,” the City Hall said.
The opponents of immigration refused to share the area with its supporters.
A previous anti-immigration rally was held on July 1, attended by a crowd of about 700. The demonstrators warned of the “hordes of horny blacks” and put up fake gallows for “traitors.”
As the police did not intervene, they were then criticised by the authorities.
Interior Minister Milan Chovanec (CSSD) said such signs of xenophobia and racism could not be tolerated. Human Rights Minister Jiri Dienstbier (CSSD) and Deputy PM Pavel Belobradek (Christian Democrats, KDU-CSL) also condemned it.
Organisers of one of the Saturday rallies from the extra-parliamentary National Democracy say “carrying dummy gallows is an absolutely appropriate expression of the disagreement with the government.”
The government recently agreed to accept 1,500 refugees by the end of 2017.

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