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February 11 2013

"Hungary – A Very FIDESZ Democracy" by Carl Rowlands

carl rowlandsAdmiral Horthy may be long gone, but just lately he appears to have become all the rage in modern Hungary. Newspapers sympathetic to the governing Fidesz party continually run glowing editorials about this ‘honourable’ man, along with statues and parks being awarded his name.

Despite their legacy as ‘The Alliance of Young Democrats’, some in the ageing and increasingly authoritarian Fidesz party have found a historical hero who was certainly no democrat. As the 1930s progressed, the electoral franchise was progressively choked off in Hungary, quietly ensuring a succession of increasingly nationalistic and right-wing governments. Areas where the social democrats were strongest were effectively deprived of the vote through bureaucratic manipulation and banning of trades union activity. Meanwhile, in rural areas, landlord control of the franchise was overt. The ‘good old days’ to which many Fidesz supporters refer to, were also the days when Roma were physically segregated into remote slums, invisible but for the occasional presence of the gendarmerie, who would brutally and violently ensure that the locals knew their position at the very base of society.

When a leading Fidesz organizer and friend of the Prime Minister declares in an opinion column that ‘most gypsies are animals’ it is against this historical context. Yet it’s also against the context of a Hungarian Right which has established no clear institutional ethical boundaries against racism, and which has increasingly relied upon nationalist rhetoric in the last 20 years. The ruling party in 1990′s first post-transition government, the MDF (Hungarian Democratic Forum) even included Istvan Csurka among its leaders. Csurka was an overtly anti-Semitic nationalist politician, dedicated to restoring Hungary’s pre-World War One borders. His presence at the centre of post-transition political life indicated the weakness of democratic forces, even at the height of their supposed triumph. Even as Csurka was expelled from the collapsing MDF administration, the government engineered a ceremonial reburial of Admiral Horthy’s bones in his home village of Kenderes.

The Hungarian right’s love of ceremony and pageant – in somewhat embarrassing homage to the anachronisms of the United Kingdom – extended to a huge parade marking the relocation of the Crown to Parliament in 2000 – investing Parliament with ‘holy’ authority. Such mystical references are common currency across the Hungarian right-wing, whether supporters of ‘center-right’ Fidesz or ‘far-right’ Jobbik. It’s part of the deliberately mixed messages being sent by Fidesz. One week the Prime Minister can meet for photo-opportunity with rabbis, the next week, the Fidesz Deputy President can attend a commemoration for a Hungarian Nazi writer. There is always an eye for an opening.

Horthy might be a strange hero to many people inside and outside Hungary, but it’s especially alarming to consider that the same political forces who indulge in Horthy-worship are also the people centralising control of the Hungarian state (especially schools), redrawing a constitution and creating a whole new set of apparently ad-hoc electoral laws, the ultimate effect of which would be to make it very, very hard to elect a new government. Having won a two-thirds majority, Fidesz are attempting to exploit an opportunity to remake the administration of Hungary, as well as cementing their dominance over the future electoral process.

Anyone who remembers the 2002 Election, in which Fidesz attempted to defend its position in office against the Socialists, will remember the partial and disgraceful overt manipulation of public media. Government spokesmen and supporters dominated the programming. The editors of the public broadcasting channels even started broadcasting Fidesz rallies live-to-air – risking the ire of those who were looking to consume the normal diet of soaps and cheap cop dramas. The new electoral law attempted to consolidate this control of public media by preventing commercial radio and television channels from running party political programmes or advertisements during the campaign, leaving only the state-controlled media to provide political analysis. The intention was to drive the opposition off air.

Already we can see the beginnings of the 2014 campaign, with posters plastered on buses and placards around the city, blaming the previous government for Hungary’s problems. It seems much of the funding for this is already coming from state sources. When added to a number of bogus consultations concerning the constitution and the ‘job protection’ campaigns, Fidesz are spending an absolute fortune on communications. The next logical step is to remove the official state budget for political parties, thereby ensuring such massive communications machines are funded from either secretive or ‘grey’ sources. If enacted, it ensures a system that retains the outward trappings of democracy, whilst engaging in multiple instances of manipulation at different levels. The open gerrymandering of electoral districts is, from a UK perspective, more normal, but will further reduce the prospects of change in Hungary, whilst the reallocation of seats has been entirely driven by use of the two-thirds supermajority, with no attempt to garner a consensus.

Finally, and in tune with 1930s Hungary, the new electoral laws proposed a move away from a simple system of voter lists, to a system of voluntary registration. It is here that the government have been placed most under pressure, both internally and externally. Originally, the registration process was intended to involve people presenting themselves physically in a governmental office with the necessary forms of ID. Access to these offices could therefore be made as obscure, or as irregular as necessary, and would be a daunting test of organization and finance, as all parties would need to ferry many of their voters to the offices, or at least ensure as many were registered as possible. The Constitution Court has rejected the electoral laws, indicating dissent in the ranks – but it remains the undeniable case that the party leadership, Viktor Orban himself, wanted to push these changes through.

We could argue that Fidesz, at root, is nothing more than an electoral/communications machine, and in this sense is not so different to many other European political parties nowadays. This machine has even provided an easy cultural identity for Joe Public to adopt, a system of patronage for supporters and friends, plus a flexible and easily adaptable set of policies, which vary from economic liberalism, to nationalism, to oligarchy, depending on the lay of the land.

Yet the rancid nationalism and overt racism of many Fidesz supporters stops it being a question of abstract political science, and illustrates the dilemma that Fidesz has built for itself. For such a machine would obviously not want to risk being thrown out of office –a negative democratic verdict would be too costly to the many interests at stake in such a centralized system of patronage. Yet at the same time, Fidesz retains those same people who were part of the democratic opposition in the communist era, and whose political self-image is based partially upon being democrats in opposition to undemocratic communists. Fidesz need to distance itself from the far-right in some ways, whilst also retaining its nationalist rhetoric and feeding the monster it has helped to create.

By understanding that Fidesz are increasingly being torn in both directions, we can surely begin to appreciate that while the Association of Young Democrats may have a somewhat elastic understanding of the word ‘democracy,’ internal rivalries and dubious decision-making increasingly question the viability of Orban’s all-encompassing governing project. Paradoxically, this coincides with the continued consolidation of absolute power.  This should not obfuscate – the prospects for democratic change and political engagement with social realities in Hungary appear singularly bleak, regardless of right-wing factionalism.

Reposted from02myEcon-01 02myEcon-01

November 20 2012

February 15 2012

August 19 2011

02mydafsoup-01
[...]

Because of the flat tax that was introduced on January 1 two-thirds of the population receive smaller paychecks than before. And millions of people have been hard hit by the upsurge in the price of Swiss francs. Thus people have little money to spend. These domestic problems are coupled with a sluggish German economy, Hungary's most important trading partner. This is really a deathblow to the Hungarian economy, which is mostly export-driven.

In any case, after two days of meetings, it was decided that Viktor Orbán must give a press conference and say something about this new situation. In the past, Orbán often refused to say anything that would be unpopular. It's enough to think of the announcement of the austerity program known by its fancy nickname "Kálmán Széll Plan." By giving the name of a nineteenth-century minister of finance to the program, Orbán's spin doctors wanted to avoid associating an unpopular austerity program with the prime minister. In addition, the details of the Széll Plan were made public by György Matolcsy while Orbán was sitting in the audience.

[...]

Hungarian Spectrum: The Hungarian economic crisis of 2011 | 2011-08-17

August 17 2011

02mydafsoup-01

Vom Neoliberalismus zum Autoritarismus | UK - Ungarn

Bembel - via Diaspora

// vier Jahre Gefängnis für #Aufruf zu Unruhen auf #Facebook (kein Mordaufruf o.ä.)… nicht in Nordkorea, in Großbritannien j.mp/qEUmBw //

------------------------------------

//oAnth

Der gesellschaftlich sich vollziehende Umbau vom Neoliberalismus zum Autoritarismus wird in den traditionell westlichen Ländern stillschweigend, tabuisierend und massenpsychologisch höchst effectiv, durch gezielte Kriminalisierung der digitalen Sphäre erreicht - in Ungarn erlaubt es die öffentliche Meinungung der Regierung weit ungenierter über eine entsprechende Verfassungsänderung zu Werke zu gehen :

www.pearltrees.com/02myprltr01/hungary-hongrie-02mysocdev/id3238036

 

July 20 2011

EGMR zur Meinungsfreiheit in Ungarn

Der Europäische Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte (EGMR) hat mit Urteil vom 19.07.2011 eine Verletzung von Art. 10 der MRK (Meinungsfreiheit) durch den ungarischen Staat festgestellt.

Hintergrund war eine durchaus auch in der Wortwahl heftige Kritik eines Journalisten an einem ungarischen Wein bzw. Weingut – die allerdings auch eine Kritik an dem ungarischen “Regime” beinhaltete – und schließlich in eine Verurteilung des Kritikers wegen Verleumdung mündete. Das Urteil zitiert die inkriminierte Textpassage folgendermaßen:

Not only because of the taste – although that alone would easily be enough for an abundant cry: sour, blunt and over-oxidised stuff, bad-quality ingredients collected from all kinds of leftovers, grey mould plus a bit of sugar from Szerencs, musty barrel – but because we are still there …: hundreds of thousands of Hungarians drink [this] shit with pride, even devotion… our long-suffering people are made to eat (drink) it and pay for it at least twice ([because we are talking about a] State-owned company); it is being explained diligently, using the most jerk-like demagogy from both left and right, that this is national treasure, this is how it is supposed to be made, out of the money of all of us, and this is very, very good, and we even need to be happy about it with a solemn face. This is how the inhabitants (subjects) of the country are being humiliated by the skunk regime through half a litre of alcoholised drink.

Der EGMR stellt fest, dass bei einem Werturteil eine offensive Sprache allein nicht ausreichend ist, wenn die Veröffentlichung satirischen Charakter haben und zudem als Kritik an staatlicher Wirtschaftspolitik verstanden werden kann. Das Gericht hebt hervor, dass das hauptsächliche Anliegen des beanstandeten Artikels darin bestand, die Öffentlichkeit auf die Nachteile des Staatseigentums hinzuweisen, weshalb es sich um ein Thema von öffentlichem Interesse gehandelt habe.

Der Fall bietet keinen Anlass dazu, mit den Fingern auf das in letzter Zeit häufig kritisierte Ungarn zu zeigen, denn eine solche Verurteilung wäre auch vor einem deutschen Gericht (leider) durchaus denkbar.

(via e-comm)

July 19 2011

May 02 2011

02mydafsoup-01
Der Historiker György Dalos beschreibt [NZZ 2011-05-02], wie Ungarns Regierung immer wütender gegen Künstler und Intellektuelle vorgeht, die in internationalen Medien Kritik an ihr üben: "Offensichtlich sind die ungarischen Staatsmänner darüber beunruhigt, dass ihnen, je größere Teile der inneren Öffentlichkeit sie unter ihre Kontrolle bekommen, die Kontrolle der Außenwahrnehmung desto mehr entgleitet. Hinzu kommt, dass sich Intellektuelle zu Wort melden, die von keiner Zweidrittelmehrheit gewählt wurden und die sich mitunter eines Ansehens und einer Beliebtheit erfreuen, von denen Politiker nur träumen können. Normalerweise sollten Dichter und Denker durch ihr Schaffen und ihre Bekanntheit zum positiven Image eines Landes beitragen. Sie zu Feindbildern und Sündenböcken abzustempeln, ist, milde gesagt, kontraproduktiv."
Heute in den Feuilletons vom 02.05.2011 | perlentaucher.de - 2011-05-02

April 27 2011

Hungary: Hungarian-Roma Tensions Result in Clash in Gyöngyöspata

Last night four people were injured in a clash between ethnic Hungarian members of the far-right group Véderő and members of the Roma community in Gyöngyöspata. Tensions have been escalating in this northern Hungarian village since March. By last Friday, Véderő's show-off military training tipped the scales of the conflict against making peace between the local Roma and Hungarian communities.

Contradictory accounts have been published in the Hungarian media about how exactly the fight started - and neither of the communities has taken responsibility for the clash.

A roma girl cries after arriving back home following her evacuation from the hungarian village of gyongyospata. image by david ferenczy, copyright demotix (24/04/2011).

A Roma girl cries after arriving back home following her evacuation from the Hungarian village of Gyongyospata. Image by David Ferenczy, copyright Demotix (24/04/2011).

Gyöngyöspata Solidarity blog shared a translation of the index.hu news report [hu]. János Ladó of the Roma Civil Rights Foundation told index.hu the Hungarians had been provoking the Roma community all day and this topped with the clash:

[…] By the evening, in the middle of a birthday celebration, the provocation increased, and more and more gathered on both sides. The Roma called the police, first one patrol arrived, then more policemen.

While the crowd was gathering in the central areas of the town, some threw stones at the windows of one of the houses in the Roma neighbourhood, some 10 minutes walk from there, then assaulted a 14-year-old local Roma boy. A serious fight in the Roma neighbourhood followed; according to Ladó, some were seriously injured, he saw three. Police called for more police backup. This was also confirmed by representative of TASZ [HCLU- Hungarian Civil Liberties Union] who saw a group of police cars on the highway, on their way to Gyöngyöspata. […]

Gábor Vona, the leader of the far-right Jobbik party in the Hungarian Parliament, criticized the way in which the Minister of the Interior, Sándor Pintér, responded to the situation in northern Hungary, calling for the minister's resignation because he hadn't been able to protect the Hungarian citizens from the Roma who “keep the whole village, mostly the elderly, in constant terror.”

Egyenlítő blog reported that Mr. Vona also invited PM Viktor Orbán for a dialogue about the Hungarian-Roma relations. The blogger drew quite a radical conclusion in his post [hu]:

[…] The problem is just that along with verbal slaps there are more and more real conflicts [happening]. In the meantime, the government makes some constitution, some media law, [and] educates Europe. […] Nicely [getting] back to the [1930s]. And, sadly, every sign says the [1940s] will be following them again.

Or there's another opportunity: in two weeks from now, the security of our country could highly increase if Mr. Orbán and Mr. Pintér resigned.

02mydafsoup-01

Eskalation der Gewalt - Offene Kämpfe zwischen Roma und Neonazis in Ungarn | pesterlloyd.net - 2011-04-27

Die Situation in Gyöngyöspata eskaliert. Am Dienstagabend gegen 21 Uhr wurde von Schlägereien zwischen lokalen Anwohnern der Roma und Mitgliedern bzw. Sympathisanten jener rechten Gruppen berichtet, die den Ort seit Anfang März belagern und am Osterwochende dort ein Wehrsportlager abhalten wollten. Es gibt mehrere Schwerverletzte.

 

UPDATE, 27.04. 7:53 Uhr


Aufgrund der Aufmärsche der rechtsextremistischen “Bürgerwehren” in Gyöngyöspata wurden am Osterwochenende fast 300 Roma vom Roten Kreuz “evakuiert”, laut Regierung zu einem "Osterausflug". Der Innenminister ließ sich blicken, die Regierung erließ ein Dekret gegen illegale Bürgerwehraktionen, die Organisatoren wurden kurzzeitg verhaftet. Doch die Realität am Dienstag zeigt, dass die Lage in keinster Weise beruhigt ist.

[...]

April 24 2011

Hungary: For Gyöngyöspata's Roma, Evacuation - or an Easter Excursion?

A village without a mayor

Northern Hungary has recently become the center of rising conflicts between the Roma and the Hungarian communities. In Gyöngyöspata, for example, paramilitary organizations were marching a month ago, claiming they were members of a neighborhood watch, even though their far-right stance was obvious.

On April 19, this video (HUN) was posted by a Roma news site So Si? (HUN), covering the rumors spreading in the Roma community of Gyöngyöspata about a paramilitary organization's plans to hold a training camp in the village. On the same day came the news of the resignation of the local mayor.

Piroslap blog, referring to a news agency, wrote (HUN) that the mayor had explained his decision to resign by health reasons. About the training camp, Piroslap wrote this:

[…] Now the group Véderő wants to hold a military camp at the settlement. On their website they define themselves as [a group] operating far from politics but on the national side, and after the elimination of conscription they would like to offer martial type of training to those who like this kind of education but wouldn't want to be professional soldiers. […]

The Roma have left

By Friday, April 22, some 300 Roma have left Gyöngyöspata, allegedly because they were afraid of the vigilante group arriving at the village for training. According to news reports, the departure of the Roma women and children was organized by the Hungarian Red Cross and Richard Field, an American businessman who had already expressed his concerns about the situation of the Roma in Hungary and even started an NGO to support them.

The Hungarian media used the word ‘evacuation' for what happened, whereas government officials claimed this wasn't an evacuation: according to them, the Roma had been taken on an Easter holiday trip for the weekend. Péter Szijjártó, the spokesman for the Prime Minister, and the Minister of the Interior Sándor Pintér offered this explanation for what had happened.

This video (HUN) shows the Minister of the Interior at a press conference held in Gyöngyöspata on Friday. He said:

They [the members of the paramilitary group] took away the happiness which was offered by the charitable organization Red Cross. The national board of the Red Cross invited the women and children from the Gyöngyöspata families for an Easter excursion.

Gellért Rajcsányi of Mandiner wrote (HUN):

[…] Because of the threats, the Roma are afraid of atrocities. A leader for the action said the [Roma] men all stayed in the village trying to protect their valuables left at home. They are expecting members of the Parliament, representatives of embassies and international human right activists to arrive by Friday afternoon. According to János Farkas, the deputy of the Roma Hungarian Civil Rights Movement, the Red Cross contributed in moving out the people who were accommodated in different camps. A representative of the Red Cross told dpa [a German press agency] that this was the first time since World War II when the organization evacuated citizens threatened by a paramilitary group in Hungary. […]

Also on Friday, the Minister of the Interior announced that the government had designed a “decree to penalise civil guard activities conducted without prior approval by the police or feigning a right to act as a keeper of public order.”

By Friday afternoon, the police dismissed the paramilitary training of Véderő. According to news reports, the leader of the group Tamás Eszes was detained. Far-right news site Kuruc.info re-published (HUN) these reports, adding an important piece of information: Tamás Eszes is a man who was disqualified from the Hungarian Guard. (Other sources wrote that Mr. Eszes would run for the mayor position now that Gyöngyöspata has no mayor.)

Gellért Rajcsányi wrote that the biggest responsibility is that of the government:

[…] We've been keeping the state for millennia to maintain the outside and inside security. The improvident promise (HUN) of making order in two weeks in those points of the country that looked hopeless was unavailing. We know it's impossible to meet close-to-perfect public security even in two-years time but at least there would be signs if we were heading that way! But today, on Good Friday, we have reached another touch bottom. Hungarian citizens fearing for their property and going about in bodily fear are longing for the presence of paramilitary organizations; [meanwhile] other citizens fearing for their property and going about in bodily fear are expecting the solution from leaders of civil rights movements and the Red Cross. The devil is raised in Gyöngyspata. In the international news [broadcasts] there will, hopefully, be good footage with crying children and vigilantes wearing uniforms among the news about Libya and Cote d'Ivoire. […]

Political action?

Photographer Levente Hernádi expressed his doubts (HUN) over whether there was no interest in motivating the events. He pointed out that the result of the events have been articles like this one on a Hungarian news site (HUN), illustrated with photos about the Roma leaving the village, members of Véderő, the Roma who stayed in the village and a Roma child. The article is a full report about the Roma who left Gyöngyöspata for the weekend and who applied for refugee status in the United States and Canada because of their threatened situation:

[… ] I think Gyöngyöspata was an extremely well-prepared play taking advantage of the always crying and ambiguously speaking Roma and of the national front that always acts nationalistic. It just had to be started and the rest went by itself.

Maximum respect to the one who [does stories] like this one […].

By Sunday, the Roma women and children were back in the village.

April 22 2011

02mydafsoup-01
02mydafsoup-01

Gyöngyöspata Solidarity | blog

  
about:

From the 6th of March, the Hungarian Civil Guard (successor to the infamous Hungarian Guard) have been actively intimidating and exercising unlawful control over the local Roma community in Gyöngyöspata, a village of 2500 people about 75km northeast of Budapest.

Although they have since left Gyöngyöspata, the Civil Guard (in collaboration witn Jobbik) is already planning to occupy more Roma communities in other towns and villages in Hungary, as evidenced by Gabor Vona’s statements reported here. We are keeping close track of the situation.

This blog aims to provide regular English updates to the international community. Besides posting first-hand updates, we are also compiling relevant pieces of news from various sources. In particular, articles from across the spectrum of the Hungarian media are being translated and posted here. Hopefully they will give you a fuller picture of how the Gyöngyöspata situation in the past 3 weeks has been reported and percieved in Hungary. We do not necessarily agree with everything posted here, but rather aim to ensure that non-Hungarian speakers have access to a variety of information.

Please visit the How to Help page for more information on getting involved.

02mydafsoup-01

Ungarn: Regierung dementiert "Evakuierung" von Roma | news.ORF.at - 2011-04-22

Die ungarische Regierung und das Rote Kreuz haben heute eine „Evakuierung“ der Roma-Frauen und -Kinder aus dem nordungarischen Ort Gyöngyöspata dementiert. Es handle sich um einen „Osterurlaub“, nicht um eine „aus plötzlicher Notwendigkeit vollzogene Aussiedlung“, sagte der Sprecher von Premier Viktor Orban, Peter Szijjarto, laut der Nachrichtenagentur MTI. Auch Erik Selymes, der Direktor des ungarischen Roten Kreuzes, erklärte, das Ferienlager sei bereits zuvor geplant gewesen.

Im Gegensatz dazu betonte der Chef der Roma-Gemeinde, Janos Farkas, gegenüber der Nachrichtenagentur AFP, dass die 277 Frauen und Kinder das rund 81 Kilometer nordöstlich von Budapest gelegene Dorf sehr wohl wegen eines „Ausbildungslagers“ der rechtsradikalen Vedero-Miliz verlassen hätten. Diese will in Gyöngyöspata am Wochenende ein Trainingslager für „militärische Grundkenntnisse“ abhalten.

Nach Angaben des Roten Kreuzes wurden 172 Betroffene in das Ferienlager Csilleberc am Stadtrand von Budapest gebracht. Rund 100 weitere wurden in das ostungarische Szolnok gefahren.

Vedero, Hungary Far Right Group, Causes Roma Mass Evacuation With Training Camp

GYONGYOSPATA, Hungary — The Hungarian Red Cross evacuated hundreds of Roma women and children from their homes Friday because they were frightened of a far-right vigilante group that was setting up a training camp near their village.

The 277 evacuees from the village of Gyongyospata were taken by bus to other parts of Hungary because the local Roma are concerned about potential confrontations with members of Vedero, or Defense Force.


Read More..
Reposted fromsigalonhuffpost sigalonhuffpost

April 19 2011

02mydafsoup-01
Girls run as boys throw water at them as part of traditional Easter celebrations in the village of Szenna, Hungary on April 2, 2010. Locals from Szenna celebrate Easter with a traditional "watering of the girls", a fertility ritual rooted in Hungarian tribes' pre-Christian past, going as far back as the second century after Christ (REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh)
via Holy Week, 2010 - The Big Picture - Boston.com

Reposted fromhairinmy hairinmy

April 11 2011

02mydafsoup-01
Play fullscreen
ran-dom – Shell sort algorithm performed by a hungarian folk...
Reposted fromyetzt yetzt viasofias sofias

April 03 2011

02mydafsoup-01
Play fullscreen
YouTube - TV1 - Esti Mese - 1987

-----------------------------------------

// oanth: Hungarian TV - language in HU - you will get it anyway, it's a pleasure to watch it.

About the old hostility between cats and dogs including the cunning side of lol cats.
Reposted fromKinderabteilung Kinderabteilung

March 22 2011

Ungarns neue Verfassung als nationales Glaubensbekenntnis

Der geschätze Kollege Max Steinbeis ist gerade in Budapest und berichtet in seinem Blog über den Verfassungsentwurf, den die Fidesz, die Partei des ungarischen Premierministers Viktor Orbán, die im ungarischen Parlament über eine Zweidrittelmehrheit verfügt, soeben vorgestellt hat und der zügig verabschiedet werden soll. Um es vorwegzunehmen: Der Bericht von Steinbeis verheißt nichts Gutes.

Die Präambel der geplanten neuen ungarischen Verfassung trägt die Überschrift “nationales Glaubensbekenntnis” und glänzt insgesamt durch nationalistische Rhetorik. Was Steinbeis im Weiteren beschreibt, klingt nicht minder bedenklich. Viktor Orbán hat ganz augenscheinlich vor, ein nationalistisches und von ihm autokratisch geführtes Staatswesen zu errichten. Der Vergleich mit Putin ist deshalb nicht nur angebracht, sondern drängt sich förmlich auf.

March 17 2011

02mydafsoup-01
 
Roma neighborhood under control of uniformed vigilantes in Hungary

http://indymediacall.blogspot.com
Budapest, 16 March 2011
R. I. S.




[...]

Nearly 2,500 persons marched in black military-like clothing on 6th March 2011 in Gyöngyöspata, after the rally supported by the Jobbik party, through the village’s Roma neighborhood, chanting slogans about the restoration of public safety. The police arrived on the scene on the day of the demonstration but did not interfere in any way, regardless of the “abuse caused to the rights of the local Roma residents, which could have been a ground for the authorities to break up the protest”, as mentioned in the letter written by the members of Gyöngyöspata’s Roma community to the Hungarian Minister of Home Affairs.

After the end of the protest the activists wearing the black uniforms of the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future, the “Defense Guard” or the “gendarmerie” did not leave Gyöngyöspata. They are there to this day and still terrorize the local Roma population. They stand in lines and surround the neighborhood. Because of their threatening appearance, the Roma do not dare leave their houses or send their children to school. Their stated goals and behavior clearly questions the state monopoly on the legitimate use of force. The village has a local police chief who had earlier initiated investigations into some thefts and closed some cases. However, many local residents considered it necessary to strengthen public safety by calling on the civil guards to protect their village. While the police doubled their presence on the scene two days after the protest, the members of the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future and its sympathizers are still forming a human chain around the houses of Roma residents and say they are there to stay. The police, while present in large numbers, still do not interfere in any way, regardless of the fact that there is reasonable suspicion that offenses such as harassment and bodily injury are occurring on a day to day basis against many of the village’s Roma residents. Some of the protesters have vowed to stay on and guard the village until the local Roma self-government does not sign a declaration stating that the Roma will stop committing crimes. Attila Laszlo, the leader of the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future said that he had heard about the municipality requesting that the Civil Guard should leave but that this was later retracted by the mayor. The mayor’s office confirmed his statement. According to their initial plans, they intend to stay until they train and organize a local branch of the organization made up of local residents.

[...]
Reposted bykrekk krekk
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