Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Report: Czech anti-migration movement falls apart in 2016

ČTK |
19 May 2017

Prague, May 18 (CTK) - The Czech anti-migrant forces totally disintegrated in 2016 due to a decline in the public interest in migration affairs and to disputes between various groups rejecting Islam and immigrants, according to the annual report on extremism that the cabinet is to discuss next week.

Far-right groups stopped staging mostly anti-migrant events and they organised sharper protests against Czech politics in general and the country's membership of the European Union and NATO, the Interior Ministry writes in its report.

The extreme right became even more splintered because of personal conflicts between the leading personalities that thwarted any long-term cooperation between smaller groups.

The anti-immigrant groups were given space in alternative media that tried to spread or support the atmosphere of fear, using selective reporting about refugees and Muslims and connecting them with terrorism.

The camps of the followers of the Workers' Party of Social Justice (DSSS) and National Democracy (ND) apparently shrank, which was reflected in the poor results of both parties in the regional elections held last autumn, the ministry writes.

Though the DSSS has more followers, it was less active than the ND, whose camp was joined by neo-Nazi supporters. On the contrary, the DSSS lost its broad support from the neo-Nazi movement last year.

In its comment on the extreme left, the ministry writes that the anarchist scene stagnated, including its militant groups. The authoritarian groups remained fragmented, there was no prominent figure or team that would unite them and a low number of people supported these groups.

Compared to 2015 when several police cars were put on fire, only one such incident was registered last year.

Extremist groups held 308 events in 2016, or a similar number as in the previous year. The number of extremist crimes dropped by 32 to 143, in comparison to 2015.

The main threats the Czech Republic may face is the extremist effort at weakening society, a possible increase in the social tension and the polarisation of society, the activities of lone militant radicals or small extremist groups, the ministry writes.

It says it would also be risky if mainstream parties began to adopt extremist elements or if a charismatic leader formed a populist political grouping.

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