“It’s worse than Balachin’s week in 1989,” complained Miroslav Ševčík, dean of the Faculty of Economics at VŠE on Wenceslas Square on Saturday. (PRO) led by Jindrich Rajchl.
Ševčík was not only present at the official event of the demonstration, but his words were intended to follow the event. Hundreds of protesters set out to build the National Museum, wanting to tear down the Ukrainian flag from it. But after a fight and challenges, the police stopped them. Ševčík describes the practice as brutal.
“Those people usually came to the public square. I saw a brutal attack on one person, his mouth was broken, many people fell down. I am shocked that something like this could happen in the Czech Republic and in front of the National Museum,” Ševčík said in front of the building.
His teachers also objected to the dean’s words. “The performance of the dean of the National Faculty has been sidelined for a long time, and yesterday’s performance was no exception. Even if Mr. Dean thinks so, his personal opinions and actions cannot be separated from the fact that he is in public office. The rector will meet with the Dean on Monday, and then we will issue a statement with the next steps,” VŠE wrote on Twitter on Sunday. .
iDNES.cz found Ševčík’s reaction.
According to VŠE spokesperson Věra Koukalová, the possibility of dismissal by the dean rector is problematic due to the Higher Education Act. “With a few exceptions, the Senate of the Faculty of Economics stands behind its dean, so they themselves will not fire him,” said a spokesman for ČTK. According to the spokesperson, the dean’s dismissal by the rector is against university law and will lead to legal action. “So we’re looking at some other avenues,” he added.
Police say the protesters were aggressive
Police deny that Saturday’s intervention in front of the National Museum was unjustified. According to Prague Police spokeswoman Violeta Siřišťová, the protesters were rude.
“There was a lot of aggression. For example, some protestors had sticks with flags in their hands and attacked police officers with them. 3 police officers were injured on the spot. Some were drunk and gang psychosis was at work,” the spokesperson said.
Police officers repeatedly called on the demonstrators to leave the scene. However, the group did not heed the calls and instead, those on the front lines attacked the police forcefully. Some hurled abuse and assaulted the police. “For the safety of the visitors of the National Museum and the property, measures have been taken to prevent them from going there,” Sirisova said, summarizing the reason for the intervention.
For example, in one scene, protesters attack a car with a Ukrainian license plate.
Police arrested a man on the spot for publicly denying, questioning and advocating genocide because his bag contained pro-Russian symbols. He was sentenced to three years in prison for approving genocide. A further 18 people were arrested by police for possible offences.
“People were restrained in their personal freedom and taken to the police station, they were charged with a crime, which was reported to the relevant administrative authority,” Chirishova recounted. They face a fine of up to 10,000 crowns for disobeying the summons of police officers and insulting their position in the exercise of their authority.
Criminal complaint against organizer
Ševčík’s words about police brutality caused a stir on social networks. Many people raised their voices against his defamation. Dean Čevšić was supported by, for example, Zuzana Majerová Zahradníková, leader of the Tricolor. According to him, Ševčík was “trying to help people who were brutally physically assaulted by the police,” he wrote. Facebook Politics.
The organizer of Saturday’s demonstration, lawyer Jindrich Rajchl, hails from the ranks of the Tricolor who ran for the post of Tricolor leader. However, he withdrew his candidacy and founded the party La Respect Expertise (PRO 2022) last year.
At Saturday’s event, Rajchl called for a general strike and the occupation of government buildings unless Petr Fiala’s cabinet resigns.
“If the government does not accept all the demands made on February 7 by April 10, or if the government does not resign, then on April 16 we will gather in Wenceslas Square and the action will be a blockade of government buildings, which will last. Until the government resigns,” he said.
“The Czech lion has risen, the Moravian and Silesian eagles have departed, and we will not allow the hyenas to steal their own land any more,” roared the Rajchl.
Criminal charges have already been filed because of Rachel’s speech. One of them was reported by a user on Twitter. “I have just filed a criminal complaint against Rajchlo for the crime of incitement to subversion of the republic for this speech. So maybe Rajchl won’t get away with it,” he wrote.
According to spokeswoman Siřišťová, the police will have precise information about the number of criminal reports on Monday, but cannot comment on specific individuals. Additionally, it will go through security camera recordings and assess the event. “We will find out who brought people to the museum in the first place and whether it was a criminal act or not,” the spokesperson added.
Leading politicians also spoke out against the protesters’ attempt to steal the Ukrainian flag. For example, Culture Minister Martin Baksa expressed his support for Ukraine. “Who else but us has the historical experience of attacking their state. Supporting Ukraine in its struggle for independence is based on our principles and values. There is no going back from this. The Ukrainian flag will be in the National Museum,” the politician wrote on Twitter.
Interior Minister Vít Rakušan commented that he understood people’s fear of poverty and war, but felt the attack on the National Theater building and the attempt to pull down the flag was “unacceptable”.
“At the end of the demonstration, when some participants tried to tear the flag from the building of the National Museum, violent manifestations like what we saw were completely unacceptable. I expect the organizers to distance themselves from these violent manifestations. It gives the impression that the entire anti-poverty demonstration is just a cover for pro-Russian provocation. presents, and we certainly cannot tolerate such expressions,” the Austrian wrote.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Markéta Pekarová Adamová, described the participant’s behavior as “pathetic”. “We support Ukraine and stand against the Russian aggressor,” the politician wrote.
Other politicians on the other hand joined the protest. ANO MP Berenika Peštová broadcast the entire event on her Facebook. His colleague Margita Balaštíková, an MP from the ANO movement, shared the post on Facebook with the comment: “My colleague came to support and monitor so that the media doesn’t lie to us again”. He later edited the comment.
Ševčík is not the only public figure to face criticism for appearing at an anti-government demonstration. On Saturday, the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions (CMKOS) President Jozef Stredula criticized the speech of Bohumir Dufek, the head of the Association of Independent Trade Unions. “Words about ‘scooters’ or calls for ‘if things don’t go well, things will get worse’ are completely unacceptable to me,” Sturtula said on Twitter. He also said that Dufek had nothing to do with ČMKOS.