At the weekend Bratislava city centre was the stage for a face off between human rights activists and around 400 protesters marching under the heading of Together for a Decent and Safe Life.
The march was initiated by Oskar Dobrovodsky, who has been at the centre of a dispute with his Roma neighbours in Malacky and who eventually left his own home. The protest was also attended by members of the far right group Slovenska Pospolitost (Slovak Brotherhood), known also for their intolerance of Roma citizens.
The march was co-organised by former municipal policeman Marian Misun, who has been labelled in the past as a Neo-Nazi. He has organised meetings before involving head of the Slovenska Pospolitost movement, Marian Kotleba, who is currently considering steps to remove around 800 Roma from land that was donated to him.
With such a gathering, it was no surprise that a counter demonstration was organised by those who defy displays of extremism and racism. The group of around 40 activists formed a human chain and managed to block the march for almost an hour as it headed up the hill towards the castle.
The police eventually broke through the human chain to allow the marchers to the the controversial statue of Svatopluk, King of ancient Slovaks, in Bratislava castle.