Demonstrations against government measures have been demonstrated in Prague's Old Town Square since 2 p.m. Police have already detained 16 people who were armed at the event. Football hooligans also arrived at the event. Due to more than 500 participants, it is now being decided to dissolve the event. Jan Švejdar draws attention to the inappropriate timing of the demonstration.
On the roads leading to the capital or directly in Prague, police checked dozens of people who were heading for a demonstration. During the inspections, police officers seized pyrotechnics, boxers, telescopic batons and a firearm.
“As there is a reasonable suspicion in this case that the life and health of people could be endangered, the police have so far detained a total of 16 people going to the demonstration, in which these objects were found,” police said on Twitter. According to the police, the municipality should now dissolve the event because it violated the allowed 500 people by its participation.
At the moment, a representative of the City Hall must decide to end the demonstration. #policiepha
– Police of the Czech Republic (@PolicieCZ) October 18, 2020
Jan Hamáček (ČSSD), the Minister of the Interior, expressed concerns about the participation of hooligans in the demonstration in the current issue of Sunday’s program Partie on Prima television. Unfortunately, a group of citizens who demonstrated peacefully several times got into one bag, or in one place, there was no problem with them, but now football hooligans have joined them, “he said.
According to him, these people did not come to demonstrate, but to “fight with the police.” According to the Deputy Prime Minister, it was not possible to agree with the organizer of the event whether it is not possible to omit football fans from it.
According to Hamáček, the police “must react”. He stated in Partia that around a thousand police officers from all over the country would be in full order in Prague. According to Hamáček, after the Saturday protest in Bratislava, the police are “getting ready for everything”.
Hamáček also called the event a terrible irresponsibility. He said police officers are exhausted as the coronavirus progresses into their ranks, with 200-250 cases of covid-19 infection or quarantine recorded daily. According to him, they are in charge of other things than “washing with hooligans”.
The police can handle it
Hamáček stressed that the whole event will cost a lot of money and effort, but he believes that the police can handle it. He noted that he called on the participants in the demonstration to behave decently and not to abuse the situation. “But you can probably all imagine how such challenges affect the ultras of Baník, Sparta, Slavia and so on,” the deputy prime minister added. He hopes there will be no injuries.
Police President Jan Švejdar thinks similarly. He points out that the protesters chose the least appropriate moment. “I fully respect and respect the right of everyone to freely express their political opinion and to assemble freely. But for the first time, this should happen at a time when we are on the verge of hospital capacity and critical shortage of doctors and medical staff,” Twitter.
The chairman of STAN, Vít Rakušan, stated in Sunday’s Party that he felt that the “veil deniers” had succumbed to disinformation and should be targeted in awareness campaigns so that they would not join the hooligans on the streets who want to fight the police. He noted that it is necessary to take into account that the coronary crisis will have an impact on greater social tensions in society and prepare for it.
The ultras were convened on social networks for the demonstration. Under the current regulation, a maximum of 500 people can take part in the protest, who must be divided into groups of twenty, with a gap of at least two meters between the groups and all with their mouths and noses covered.
“If more people take part in the event, we will call on the convener to arrange a remedy and comply with the measures in force,” said Prague police spokeswoman Eva Kropáčová before the demonstration. If, according to her, he did not do so, the police could report him to the offense.