July 16, 2024

On August 29, 2009, approximately 200 Roma residents of Turzovka, a town in the Kysuce region of Slovakia, left their homes a day before a planned anti-Roma protest by the extremist organization Slovenská Pospolitosť (Slovak Brotherhood). Local residents and the town’s mayor confirmed the exodus, with some Roma unable to fit on buses to Ostrava and resorting to taxis and cars.

In anticipation of the protest, dozens of police vehicles and hundreds of officers were dispatched to Turzovka. A bus transported additional officers from the regional police headquarters.

The extremist group’s protest was scheduled for 1 PM, with around 100 Slovak Brotherhood supporters gathering at a football field. The leader of the organization, Marián Kotleba, arrived at 1:25 PM. Kotleba greeted the participants and, along with other speakers, addressed the protesters for approximately 45 minutes. By 3 PM, the protest began to disperse, and a planned march through the town did not take place.

The protest was originally supposed to be held in front of the local government office. However, due to an ongoing wedding at the office, the protesters relocated to the football field as a sign of consideration. One of the organizers of the Slovak Brotherhood’s protest action, stated, “We decided to come to Turzovka because it is also one of the problematic locations, like the villages in the east. In some aspects more, in some maybe less, but the problems are the same here.” Turzovka’s mayor, Miroslav Rejda, expressed his disapproval of the protest,