Wile organisers of the first protest officially announced to city authorities that they expected about 100 participants, on social networks about 1,300 people confirmed their plans to attend.
A reaction by some Žilina inhabitants has been a public money collection aimed at helping migrants. They gathered also on the afternoon of July 11, in Marian Square (while the anti-migrant gathering took place in Hlinka Square).
They promised to give a certain amount for every participant of the neo-Nazi protest, and thus their number will impact the final sum donated to migrants. The money will go to the Marginal civic association that helps asylum-seekers to integrate into society, the Sme daily wrote. In this way, they hope to cut the number of participants. About 300 people gathered in Marian Square, with also some participants from the Pohoda music festival arriving.
The original, anti-migrant gathering, organised by citizens surrounding the Banská Bystrica regional governor Marian Kotleba and rightist extremists, also attracted about 300 people, slamming immigrants, Islam, and the European Union, however, in compliance with the right of assembly.
After about an hour, both groups started to disperse, with no violent incidents taking place – unlike in Bratislava on June 20, the SITA newswire wrote. The police only dealt with one skirmish at the Andrej Hlinka Square where people were signing a petition against migrants, Sme wrote.
The July 11 protest in Žilina against Slovakia's poor migrant policy may only further promote the policy and political ambitions of far-right extremists, as shown by the recent, similar protest in Bratislava, the Pravda daily quoted experts. A potential high-turnout could have meant that there is a movement emerging which leans towards radicalisation.
But as it looks, the protest was not that attractive, after all, as the turnout was not impressive, according to Sme.
13. Jul 2015 at 14:05 | Compiled by Spectator staff