Report from Bratislava

Last Saturday thousands of people gathered for an anti-immigration rally in downtown Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Our Czech correspondent Gemini took a field trip to his eastern neighbor to see the rally, and sends the following report.

Report from Bratislava
by Gemini

It is very hard to write everything about the rally that took place on Saturday. However, I witnessed it and here is what I found most important to report:

1.   The rally was called “Stop Islamization of Europe! Together against Brussels’ dictates. Europe for the Europeans.”
2.   While not openly at first, the rally was backed and organized mostly by a strongly nationalistic yet non-parliamentarian party called Ľudová Strana — Naše Slovensko (People’s Party — Our Slovakia).
3.   The attendance was huge. The media admit 5,000 participants; the people organizing it count 10,000. I believe there were no fewer than 8,000 people, covering most of the space in the largest square in Bratislava (Námestie SNP).
4.   The whole rally was attended mostly by young people. Many of them were young men with shaved heads, but regular people with families were also present there. Except for nationalistic slogans (“We are here at home”), threats and profanities were also chanted, targeted at Slovak politicians (“treason”, “hang them”) and against the U.S.A. (“F*** U.S.A.”). Most of the flags were those of the organizing political party and the like.
5.   The police presence was really impressive. They picked the route that ran right alongside the square where the counter-demonstration took place. Just a coincidence? Despite this, nothing happened to make them to stop the rally.
6.   Many different speakers shared the stage. While their speeches were mostly focused on mass immigration, warnings of approaching Islamic sharia were also openly expressed. Some speakers were frankly Christian. The crowd reacted most positively to Marian Kotleba, the leader of the party Ľudová Strana — Naše Slovensko. Much to my surprise, he wasn’t as anti-EU as one would expect. He even expressed his wish that Slovak army would help guard the Italian border! Despite this, some other speakers were strongly against the EU and the U.S.A. One also blamed the state of Israel mostly. It is also important to note that the crowd reacted positively to an appeal to give shelter to Syrian Christians.
7.   According to the organizers, other similar rallies are planned for the near future.

8.   The rally ended quietly. Absolutely nothing disturbing happened there.
9.   Two incidents occurred after the rally was over. Some people threw stones at one Saudi Arabian family in the town. The other incident happened in another part of town where some of the rally attendees (organizers blame some group of football hooligans) violently disrupted an international sporting event, extreme bike-racing taking place in the Castle of Bratislava.
10.   Media and politicians (including the president) remain decisively focused on the incidents that happened after the rally was over. The whole rally is now being described and Nazi-like, violent and extremist. I believe they managed to smear the whole event very effectively; they made many people scared.

It is hard to say yet what the future will bring for Slovakia.

Sources for photos:

Supporters / organizers:


Also, some English-language reports:

From Fox News:

Thousands of right wing extremists rally in Slovak capital against refugees, clash with police

BRATISLAVA, Slovakia – Thousands of people have rallied in Bratislava against what they call an “Islamization of Europe” and to oppose a European Union plan for member states to share the burden of hosting a surge of asylum-seekers.

Police say some 300 protesters attacked spectators of a cycle race and clashed with police later Saturday. The City Downhill World Tour Bratislava 2015 race had to be interrupted.

The protesters, mainly right-wing extremists, also tried to attack a smaller demonstration in favor of hosting refugees.

Police spokeswoman Tatiana Kurucova said dozens were detained while three officers suffered injuries.

The protesters condemned an EU plan to divide up refugees arriving largely in Italy and Greece between member states.

Slovakia is expected to accept 785, although the government opposes it.

From France24:

Thousands rally against immigration in Bratislava

Thousands of people protested against immigration and EU quotas on migrant numbers at a rally organised by an anti-Islam movement in Bratislava on Saturday.

The rally organised by a group called Stop the Islamisation of Europe drew up to 8,000 people, according to Slovakian media, while the police declined to give an estimate.

Protesters 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.

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.

One of the protesters was taken into custody after using tear gas against the police, and the crowd also shredded the blue EU flag offered by one of the speakers.

Riot police also stepped in to separate the protesters from about 200 people planning to block the rally.

Hat tips for the English-language articles: Fjordman and C. Cantoni.

11 thoughts on “Report from Bratislava

  1. Why are they anti-American? Is it the thinking of these folks that everything wrong with the world is the fault of the US?

    • Our foreign policy in the region is such that we tend to make enemies. Think of what we did to Serbia re Kosovo — and that’s just for starters.

      Obama is making it worse, of course. But it was bad enough before he came along.

      But we are the Hegemon, and will be hated no matter what. That’s the way it always is.

      • But if we were anti-Islamization too, wouldn’t they like us? I think we are in fact. This shows they do not know us very well.

      • I don’t know if US actions against Serbia re Kosovo drive the anti-American sentiments in Slovakia, but if not that, what does? What did the USA ever do or not do to Slovakia?

        Regrettably, I think it is the hate the hegemon explanation: Pax Romana, Pax Brittanica and now Pax Americana for the last century. It is of course utterly fatuous and childish to “hate” the world’s current hegemon, which, despite all the silly blaming rhetoric, is and has long been an essentially a benevolent* one.

        What other historical hegemon with a monopoly over atomic weapons 1945-49 and accounting for half the world’s GDP would have conducted itself as the USA did in that period? Answer: none.

        Thankfully I won’t be around if and when China becomes top dog. It won’t be pretty. And I’m a mild Sinophile. China nurtures a desire for vengeance against the Anglos for the Opium Wars. Just ask any candid Chinese person to account for why China had such a terrible century 1850-1950.

        * The US participation in the massive and murderous NATO airstrikes on Serbia was perhaps the most egregious and brutal departure from its norms. And aren’t the Muslim Kosovars and Muslim Bosnians ever so grateful to the US? I still cannot fathom why NATO helped the Bosnians and Kosovars and hammered Serbia on their behalf.

        • The Slovaks I work with here in Bratislava are not really aware of the Serbia/Kosovo situation. It is also nothing to do with the USA as Hegemon either.

          There is here the usual, rather confused. neo-Nazi faction who are anti-US. Mainly out of envy. Most Slovaks I have met, however are virulently anti-Russian except one lady who worked for me in 2012 who wished for communism to return. I think what you see here is a small unrepresentative group of skin-heads who would naturally be attracted to a demo like this.

          • ??? sorry ,but every word,that you ve written here is lie. i live here,i was born here,im 38 ,two children,and i also joined the march,because i dont want when my children grow up and half of children in the class will be islamic and my child will be worry to eat pig paste with bread!!! its different culture,diferent people and its our country where are tottaly diferent traditions and we can see,that it doenst work(france,belgium,holand britain )and it will never work!!! and many others like me ,also people over 50 were there.only 4 or 5 hundred were people,that youve mentioned!!!! and about 70 percent people here dont agree with us politics a NATO murders. and why ?? very simple,because their activities arent defensive but agresive, korea,vietnam,irak ,syria lybia ,serbia-kosovo,and they went there to defence freedom and rights of inhabitants ofthose countries:-))), [obscenities redacted]. sorry for my english,i try on my best

          • Weˇve got to have the strongest military in the World, and we, occasionally, have to twist the arms of countries that wouldn´t do what we need them to do. –bar. obamas words 28.5.2015 if it would putins words,we are at the beginning of the 3 WW. thats the different my friend,he can do everything,others must be quiet. we are fed up of him and whole us and his girl called European union

        • ” China nurtures a desire for vengeance against the Anglos for the Opium Wars. Just ask any candid Chinese person to account for why China had such a terrible century 1850-1950.”

          Yes, so true. I, for one, NEVER AGAIN !!

    • ‘Arab Spring’ is seen as a foreign policy disaster, and BHO/USA is held responsible because he basically claimed responsibility. That a significant proportion of African and Middle Eastern population is on the move, northwards is a frightening proposition for settled peaceful places like Slovakia who have only recently come out from under the heel of the USSR,

      Much of the blame should actually fall on the socialist/fascist fantasy that is the EU, who is holding up free carrots and has locked away all its sticks.

      To Ahmed Al Whittington, the streets of the EU are paved with gold, and which is there for the taking, they just give it away, and then there are also the western women who, so rumour (and Hollywood) implies, never say no.

  2. I hope rally organizers in the future will put some attention to rally monitors and security. It’s just plain dumb to allow a successful rally to be overshadowed by violent acts of people more-or-less on your side.

    Who cares if the Slovaks are for or against the US? If they can successfully maintain their borders, and if they leave the EU, it will be a huge benefit for real US interests.

    The ones that really scare me are our “friends”, the EU, UN, and NATO, who would intervene in a second if the US were ever involved in internal violence and the armed forces were too weak to resist internal intervention.

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