Hungarian PM backs new anti-fascist group
A new non-partisan organisation has been founded in Budapest to combat extremist violence in Hungary.
Acting in a personal capacity, the country’s Prime Minister, Ferenc Gyurcsany, attended the founding meeting of the Hungarian Democratic Charter on Sunday.
The group will hold its first demonstration on September 20th.
There have been violent clashes with police, attacks on politicians and gay Pride in recent months.
In July Budapest Pride was the target of violent fascist attacks.
An estimated 1,500 people participated in the LGBT solidarity demonstration.
SWAT officers called in from all over Hungary followed the march and intervened when necessary.
The march was supposed to end in a cordoned-off area where a concert was going to take place.
It was cancelled as a neo-Nazi mob had beaten up the performer and police were forced to use tear gas and a water cannon to clear the route for marchers to leave.
The marchers were then escorted by police to nearby metro stations as the mob was dispersed.
Pride in Budapest in 2007 was plagued by skinheads and fascists shouting abuse and throwing items such as beer bombs, smoke bombs and petrol bombs at the peaceful marchers.
In the week leading up to this year’s Pride two gay businesses in Budapest were attacked with petrol bombs.
Activists said it could be the work of a group who use a website called kuruc.info.
Described as “an extremist nationalist hate site targeted against gay people, liberals, Jewish people,” the phone numbers and other details about gay activists are regularly posted on the site.
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“This site, although Hungarian, is hosted in a US server, so there is nothing we can do to stop them,” a Hungarian activist from Budapest told PinkNews.co.uk.
In August 2007 a far-right Hungarian political party, Jobbik, known for their anti-Semitic, anti-Roma and homophobic rhetoric, inducted the first members of its paramilitary wing outside the country’s Presidential palace in Budapest.
The founding members of Magyar Garda, or the Hungarian Guard, took oaths of allegance in front of over a thousand supporters of the Jobbik party waving red and white striped Arpad flags, similar to those used by the country’s pro-Nazi Arrow Cross regime during the Second World War.
“The Hungarian Guard has been set up in order to carry out the real change of regime and to rescue Hungarians”, Jobbik president and Magyar Garda founder Gabor Vona told the crowd.
The paramilitary group says it will “defend Hungary physically, morally and spiritually.” Members will be trained how to use weapons.
At a counter-demonstration, black and white photographs of Jews wearing a yellow star and being herded into trains to death camps were displayed.