April 19, 2024

On August 7, 2010, around 100 supporters of the People’s Party – Our Slovakia gathered at Hodžovo Square in Bratislava to participate in the “National Pilgrimage to the Statue of King Svätopluk.” The participants marched from the meeting point through Palisády towards Bratislava Castle, where the statue of Svätopluk is located. According to the march organizer, Marián Mišún, the pilgrimage is intended to honor history and the symbol of Slovakia – the double cross and Svätopluk. The procession carried Slovak flags, banners of the People’s Party – Our Slovakia, the Slovak Brotherhood, as well as two flags from the Czech Republic – the Workers’ Party and the Workers’ Youth.

Kotleba and his followers first attempted to reach the Svätopluk statue in the courtyard of Bratislava Castle on August 7. About 80 participants marched from Župné Square to Zámocká Street, where they were stopped by the police. Several dozen right-wing extremists tried to enter the castle grounds, but were prevented by heavily armed police officers with the support of the city police.

On that day, the police detained ten people, including Kotleba, and several participants were injured. They were taken to the police station for disobeying a call to disperse during an unauthorized gathering of right-wing extremists.

A protest against violence, the spread of ideas aimed at suppressing human rights and freedoms, the spread of fascist and neo-Nazi ideas, and the spread of propaganda and populism in society also took place in a chamber-like atmosphere in front of the National Council of the Slovak Republic in Bratislava.