From Black Flag #216 1999.
FSA-IWA militant Michal Patera faces 25 years sentence
On Friday, November 27th. five or more Czech neo-nazis physically attacked two FSA-IWA members in a Prague club. Most of them belonged to the hard core of neo-nazis in Prague and were highly skilled in Asian martial arts. Our comrades were taken by surprise as the neo-nazis arrived after they had been informed by one of their sympathizers, that Michal was present there.
Comrade S.V. was knocked out after a short fight and Michal Patera had to face the concerted attack of five neo-nazis alone. After he received several hard blows, it became clear that this time the neo-nazis wanted to take him out permanently Cornered and desperate, he used his legally owned automatic pistol. The most aggressive fascist was shot three times and the others withdrew for a moment. Michal managed to escape, but was arrested shortly afterwards.
After a short police investigation and consultation with the special Anti-extremist Political Police Department, Michal was charged with "attempted murder motivated by ideological conviction" (§8 to §219 of Penal law), Next morning he was sentenced by the district judge to "preliminary custody'', awaiting trial, The average time spent in this "custody" before trial is one year. Police interpreted the whole incident as "ideologically motivated" attempted murder, committed by well known "leftist extremists" against group of innocent ordinary "young men". Michal, therefore, faces a potential sentence of 25 years in the hardest type of prison. None of the attacking nazis face even minor charges.
To demonstrate the strength of the Czech neo-nazi movement, they had organized a meeting combined with a festival of "white music" the same day. More than 10 neo-nazi bands and 300 fascists attended the gig near Pilsen. Assault Police troops did not intervene, although anti-Semitic and fascist slogans were publicly shouted and the nazi salute given, both serious offences under Czech law. The month before, for the first time since 1930s, fascist candidates stood in municipal elections.
According to the police, there are at least 30,000 organized neo-nazis and active supporters in the Czech republic, 3000 in Prague alone. The Prague group of FSA-IWA has 10 members. According to the official statistics of the Ministry of Interior Affairs, more than one third of policemen are members or active sympathizers of neo-fascist, racist and extreme nationalist organizations. Sympathy, cooperation and often direct complicity of police personnel with neo-nazis are well-known facts.
Michal Patera is one of the most active and dedicated Czech class struggle anarchists and an active revolutionary anti-fascist, He has risked physical retaliation many times in direct action against neo-nazis and in the defence of anarchist movement. He is the editor of the FSA paper "The Voice of Direct Action" and very active in the field of international cooperation, especially with the Eastern countries. Solidarity and support is urgently needed!
The financial resources of the Czechoslovak anarchist movement are exhausted after the campaign to support Vaclav Jez, anarchist militant, jailed after the same type of incident in July 1997, which raised more than 70.000,- CZK (equivalent to US$2300). The total costs of Vaclav's defence are estimated to be higher than 130,000.- CZK (USS4300), almost 20 average monthly worker's wages, which are ridiculously low compared to living costs and not enough to provide a decent standard of living. We are not able to collect this sum again in such a short time.
It is absolutely vital for Michal Patera to have good defence lawyer. because the police and capitalist (In)Justice are biased. Costs will be approximately the same as in the case of Vaclav Jez. The pattern of both cases is absolutely the same, A neo-nazi combat group attacks a well-known anarchist and antifascist in order to physically eliminate him. Our comrades manage to save their lives only by the use of firearms and are subsequently jailed and framed.
We ask all revolutionary anti-fascists and anarchists all over the world to support our imprisoned comrade. We, Czechoslovak class struggle anarchists and revolutionary anti-fascists, are under constant and terrible pressure from a growing and very aggressive neo-nazi movement.
We are in desperate situation and we cannot manage without international solidarity. FSA-IWA Prague group coordinates Michal's defense campaign. Please:
- write letters of solidarity to Michal
- send letters of protest to your local Czech embassy (Demand the release of Miclial Patera (born 1976), arrested 27/11/ 98 in Prague and accused of §8/1 to § 219 from preliminary custody and subsequent dropping of charges, because lie was brutally attacked for his antifascist and anarchist beliefs and used his gun in legitimate self-defence)
- organize protest pickets
- organise benefit gigs and collections for Michal's defence fund
Prison address: Michal Patera (1976), PO BOX 5, 14057 Praha 4, Czech republic
FSA-IWA Prague, PO BOX 5,15006 Praha 56, Czech republic
Tel *42040)2-90006917 (FSA-IWA International secretary private number)
Tel *42040)602-224747 (hotline)
Tel: *42040)602-828361 (alternative hotline)
e-mail address for Michal's defense campaign: [email protected]
IMPORTANT: Czech police often check and confiscate the FSA's mail, so please. use also the e-mail and phone contacts listed above. In Britain, the Solidarity Fed-eration is collecting for MichaI. Send dosh to SF, PO Box 1681, London N8 7LE