Solidarity action and an antifascist demonstration held in Budapest

                                                    by Matyas Benyik                                  

Hungarian civil groups headed by the Hungarian United Left (MEBAL) called for a demonstration for 10 a.m. on 8th October 2017 in the heart of the previous Jewish ghetto of Budapest (i. e. on Klauzal Square, where 3 thousand killed Jews were piled up in 1944) in order to protest against the presently very powerful autocracy of the right-wing ruling power of FIDESZ and KDNP and the brutal police violence committed against Attila Vajnai, President of the European Left Workers Party 2006.

About seventy activists of the different Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), i.e. Alliance of the Hungarian Resistance Fighters and Antifascists (MEASZ), ATTAC Hungary, Hungarian Antifascist League (MAL), Imre Nagy Society, Karl Marx Society (MKT), Organizers for the Left (SZAB) as well as the left wing currents of the Hungarian Socialist Party (MSZP) and the Hungarian members/sympathizers of the European Left Party gathered to express their solidarity with Attila Vajnai.

All of the five key-note speakers, including Mihály Nagyváradi Szűcs, Vice-President of MEASZ, György Droppa, an activist of SZAB, Krisztina Noé, an antifascist activist, Zsolt Török, member of the Left Bloc Platform of MSZP, dr. Ferenc Donáth, Budapest President of the Imre Nagy Society were strongly condemning the outrageus police brutality that occurred on 10th September 2017. Protesters were shocked to learn about the violent actions of the police, who acted as a repressive truncheon against those who fight the legally banned symbols of Nazism, and demanded that the Hungarian authorities hold accountable those who unlawfully detained and used force against the opposition party leader.

Matyas Benyik, President of MEBAL and ATTAC Hungary read out the letter of Gregor Gysi, President of the Party of the European Left (PEL) dated of 13th September, addressed to Hungarian PM Viktor Orban. Gregor Gysi cannot imagine even with the best will in the world that the sale of fascist or Nazi symbols, among them pictures of Adolf Hitler and swastikas are allowed in Hungary. He strongly protested against the violent police treatment of Vajnai Attila and hoped PM Viktor Orban would accept his protest, and measures against the involved police officers would be soon introduced. In his assessment the suspicion exists that the Hungarian Police committed a criminal offence while exercising its duties.

Matyas Benyik read out also the announcement of the GUE/NGL group of the European Parliament dated of 13th September pointing out „it is scandalous that Nazi memorabilia are being sold on the streets of an EU member state, but even more so that the police are showing brutality towards those who oppose such symbols of crimes against humanity.”

Participants of the rally agreed that such a police reaction comes in a context of a broader political extreme right-wing drift in Hungary and reflects a general complacent attitude towards fascism from the ruling coalition of FIDESZ/KDNP government.

Participants of today`s demonstration firmly assured Attila Vajnai of their solidarity and reiterated their concerns about the deterioration of the rule of law in Hungary.

At the end, Attila Vajnai expressed our hope that this demonstration would be an alarming sign to call the Hungarian society for stopping the „brown pest” (i. e. Anti-Semitism, Nazism, Racism, Xenophobia) spreading out largely not only in Hungary, but worldwide as well.

Budapest, 8th October 2017.

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