Mass ar­rests af­ter crowds rally against immigration in Bratislava

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

At least 140 peo­ple were ar­rested Satur­day af­ter vi­o­lence broke out at an anti-immigration rally in Bratislava at­tended by thou­sands of peo­ple in protest at EU quo­tas on mi­grant num­bers, lo­cal media said.

The rally, or­ga­nized by an an­tiIs­lam group called Stop the Is­lamiza­tion of Europe, drew up to 8,000 peo­ple, ac­cord­ing to Slo­vakian media. Po­lice de­clined to give an es­ti­mate.


in­cluded Mar­ian Kotleba, the gover­nor of a cen­tral Slo­vakian re­gion and founder of the far-right Peo­ple’s Party Our Slo­vakia.

“I wish you a nice, white day ... we are here to save Slo­vakia,” Kotleba told the crowd.

Scuf­fles erupted be­tween small groups of de­mon­stra­tors and po­lice at the end of the rally, lead­ing to 140 ar­rests, the coun­try’s TASR news agency re­ported, cit­ing lo­cal po­lice sources. Six po­lice cars were dam­aged in the un­rest.

Ear­lier, at least one pro­tester was taken into cus­tody af­ter us­ing tear gas against the po­lice, and some in the crowd were seen shred­ding a blue EU flag of­fered by one of the speak­ers.

Af­ter the rally, a group of protesters at­tacked spec­ta­tors at a cy­cling show, lo­cal media said, adding that uniden­ti­fied at­tack­ers also threw bot­tles and stones at an Arab fam­ily at the main train sta­tion.

The protest was called af­ter the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion said in May that Slo­vakia, an EU and NATO mem­ber of 5.4 mil­lion peo­ple, should ac­cept 471 mi­grants from Italy and 314 from Greece, as the bloc scram­bles to deal with a surge in peo­ple il­le­gally cross­ing the Mediter­ranean Sea in search of a bet­ter life.

On Fri­day, Prime Min­is­ter Robert Fico and his coun­ter­parts from neigh­bor­ing Czech Re­pub­lic, Hungary and Poland af­firmed that their coun­tries were against quo­tas on refugee num­bers im­posed by the EU.

A June poll by the Fo­cus opin­ion re­search agency, pub­lished on Satur­day, showed Slo­vaks per­ceived the cur­rent wave of mi­grants head­ing to Europe as the hottest in­ter­na­tional topic, be­ing men­tioned by al­most 22 per­cent of 1,018 re­spon­dents.

“The vast ma­jor­ity of the Slovak public ... per­ceives mi­grants as a se­cu­rity risk for the coun­try, or as an eco­nomic or so­cial bur­den,” said Fo­cus head Martin Slosiarik.


Brazil­ian theater group Desvio Co­le­tivo per­forms its piece, “BLIND” in the streets of down­town Sao Paulo, Brazil, Satur­day, June 20. The per­for­mance ad­dresses the fa­cade of mod­ern life, in which work­ers are cam­ou­flaged in tai­lored suits, but caked in clay to sym­bol­ize the pet­ri­fac­tion of their bod­ies, and blind­folded to re­flect the im­pov­er­ish­ment of the hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence.

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