June 12, 2024

On May 1, 2015, in Brno, Czech Republic, around 1,500 to 2,000 individuals gathered to oppose a May Day procession organized by the extremist group “Dělnická mládež” (Worker Youth). The protesters blocked access routes to Malinovského Square while chanting slogans like “Náckové ven z Brna” (Nazis out of Brno). The situation escalated as the police intervened to separate the opposing groups, deploying hundreds of riot officers, mounted police, and even a helicopter. Several attempts to block the procession occurred, culminating in a violent clash between the police and the protest participants on Lidická Street. Eventually, the police arrested 57 people.

According to the blockade organizers, the police repeatedly used tear gas and rubber projectiles without prior warning. However, they also admitted that the crowd had become difficult to control, especially towards the end of the demonstration. “The crowd gained its own momentum; in our opinion, neither the anti-conflict team nor the police were able to handle it,” stated one of the blockade organizers, Václav Pecl. He believed that the police should have dissolved the Dělnická mládež march altogether, as they were unable to ensure a safe passage through the city.

The event, organized by Dělnická mládež under the slogan “Evropo povstaň” (Europe, rise up), was expected to draw around 500 participants, but the actual turnout was lower. At Svobody Square, where the march began, Tomáš Vandas, the chairman of the allied Workers’ Party of Social Justice (DSSS), addressed the crowd. He spoke about hordes of immigrants flooding Europe, igniting fires in shops, and harming its residents. According to the blockade organizers, Dělnická mládež had clear ties to neo-Nazi circles.