On Sunday, April 16, an anti-government protest organized by the non-parliamentary political group “Right Respect for Professionalism” (PRO – Právo Respekt Odbornost), led by attorney Jindřich Reichl, commenced on Wenceslas Square in the Czech capital. In 2022, PRO obtained official registration. The protesters assembled in the heart of Prague with banners and flags of the Czech Republic bearing slogans critical of the current administration headed by Prime Minister Petr Fiala.
Chairman of the PRO – “Right Respect for Professionalism” Jindřich Reichl claims that his supporters intend to obstruct government buildings. There will be a march to the Cabinet of Ministers’ offices following the gathering in Wenceslas Square.
Previous far-right protests were bigger
“When injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes a duty,” “People should not be afraid of their government, and the government should be afraid of its people,” “General strike,” “Give peace a chance,” and “No to war” are some of the messages printed on the banners. The participants were thanked for coming to protest the “purple need” from the very beginning of the event from the podium that had been set up on the square.
The head of the PRO declared that everyone present at a rally with the theme “Czech Republic Against Poverty” was standing up for the Czech Republic: “Through non-violent civil protest, we want to remove the coalition government of Petr Fiala.” He stated that the protest should be “not only against economic poverty but also against moral poverty.” At the protest, Jindřich Reichl also spoke out against the legalization of same-sex marriage and the use of remote voting during elections.
On Wenceslas Square, the protest lasted for around two hours, and under the government, it lasted for a little over three hours. The participants did not establish the live chain they announced.
The opposition SPD MP Yaroslav Foldyna concurred, saying that the Czech Republic is “being drawn into the war.”
Party says it is not pro-Russian
The Právo Respekt Odbornost party asserts that it is not pro-Russian at the same time. Petro Vacek, the party’s deputy leader, highlighted that PRO views Russia’s activities toward Ukraine as “aggression” and promised that the “conflict” should terminate with the utmost respect for Ukraine’s national sovereignty.
However, Reichl emphasizes that the activities of Russia and the USA are viewed differently and that “peaceful negotiations” are the only way to bring about peace in Ukraine.
In the fight against the coronavirus since 2020, Reichl has organized demonstrations against the government, spoken at them frequently, and circulated erroneous information about the epidemic.
After failing to lead the Tricolor movement, Reichl founded the PRO party, which is thought to have pro-Kremlin leanings (as a result of connections to pro-Russian politicians for taking part in the Tricolor protest against the government in September 2022).
Photo: Jindřich Reichl, idnes.cz