2011. március 18., péntek

Roma neighborhood under control of uniformed vigilantes in Hungary

Budapest, 16 March 2011

R. I. S.

Roma neighborhood under control of uniformed vigilantes in Hungary

"According to the local representative of the Jobbik party in the Heves County village, crimes against property have become unbearable to the locals, who have therefore called the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future to protect them. Gábor Vona, the president of Jobbik said in Gyöngyöspata[1] that „those are not willing to integrate should leave the country.” More than 2,000 members and sympathizers of Jobbik and the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future held a protest in the village, which counts 2,500 citizens, against „Gypsy terror”, fearing that „crimes committed by the minorities could create a civil war situation.”

The Roma were astonished. According to them, generalizing and exercising arbitrary control over the whole village because of a few trouble makers is not a solution. 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.

Attila Laszlo added that during the night, his guards had once again helped capture two wood thieves in the surroundings of the village. As they caught the thief red-handed, they called the local police, who initiated proceedings. Food is regularly being collected and accommodation offered to the civil guards by local residents.

László Tabi, the independent mayor of Gyöngyöspata told the press on 9th March that the civil guards had since been actively involved in capturing wood thieves. Simultaneously, local residents continued to offer accommodation and food to their “guests” and initiated a petition to demand that the Civil Guard stay on.

Jobbik representative András Kisgergely reminded his followers that “Gypsies attack Hungarians each and every day. Typically, the gypsy carries a knife, and after having committed a theft and met with resistance, he starts his killing spree. It is not enough for him to hurt the one who resists, it is his life he wants to take!” According to the politican, “gypsy criminals are left free to maraud in villages, terrorize and murder the Hungarians while they are protected through every means possible and their acts are left out of the public eye.”

One article in major ultra-nationalist website, www.barikad.hu, begins with the statement that in Gyöngyöspata, on the day of the protest, the population had once again approached the ideal Hungarian “ethnic ratio”, a concept which, with demographic decline among non-Roma and high birth rates among Roma in Hungary, is gaining in importance in the ultra-nationalist narrative in Hungary. Gábor Vona, president of the Jobbik party, said that he had received information from different sources that the local Roma had been threatening the “Hungarian” residents in Gyöngyöspata, promising that revenge would be taken after the civil guards left the village. The politician promised that: “if need be, twice, three times as many civil guards will come back.” Mr. Vona added that they would organize the civil guard movement across the country’s cities and villages. 

“We went to Gyöngyöspata on Thursday, 10th March, and found we had to cross two checkpoints reminiscent of war movies to enter the Roma neighborhood.” wrote the www.sosinet.hu website. At that point tension was intense between the Roma and the people clad in black uniforms surrounding them. “During our interviews, local Roma inhabitants told us about the psychological terror and humiliation they are suffering, the constant fear they are feeling. It is not safe for them to leave their homes, even to go to work.” In their declaration, the local Rona draw attention to the fact that the members of the Hungarian Guard hidden behind “Civil Guard Association for a Better Future” and “gendarme” uniforms and openly supported by the Jobbik party have kept the Roma residents of the village in a state of constant fear for the past two weeks. The situation has come to a point where the Roma are terrified to leave their houses, stopped sending their children to school and do not even feel secure inside their own homes.

Activists began organizing a crowd to “celebrate” the 15 March National Holiday in Gyöngyöspata. Between 230-250 people arrived to the village in the morning and spent the day in the Roma neighborhood to celebrate Hungary’s commemoration of its revolution against Austrian rule in 1848. They walked together to the Kossuth (a hero of the revolution) statue, claiming in statement signed by spokespersons Tamás Bauer, László Márton and Iván Vitányi that “laws apply to all, not only to those who commit crimes against other persons’ property. They also apply to those self-appointed militia members who keep others in a state of terror.” Today is 16 March, a day after the National Holiday. A few people were taken to the police station yesterday in Gyöngyöspata because they could not show their ID’s.  

“The police, the legitimate guardians of public safety, have been watching on silently as an aggressive organization bulldozes through the basic norms of any democratic state based on the rule of law and attacks members of the Roma minority arbitrarily instead of preventing this state of affairs from developing from the day it started.” - says the Hungarian Democratic Charta in their statement.

The Hungarian Democratic Charta and the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union (TASZ), two NGOs, have expressed their shock at the lack of response of the Hungarian authorities: “We are shocked by the inaction of the police, which could encourage others to take similar actions and could deepen the loss of trust of the Roma minority in the authorities and the administration.” While many representatives of European governments and journalists from all over the world are currently in Hungary for the EU Presidency summits, neither the events, nor their statement have made it into the international press.

The question is whether Hungary, which is currently holding the European Union Presidency, will acknowledge that vigilantism, the concept of demographic “ ethnic ratio” and the meaning given to Hungarian national values by those who claim to protect this country and their sympathizers is a direct path back to where Hungary stood in the 1930s, and whether this government will finally take real steps to stand by its stated principles and stop militias advocating crimes against humanity from taking our country over once again.

“After Gyöngyöspata”, the Jobbik party has asked the members of the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future “to take the restoration of public safety into their own hands in Borsodnánasd also.”

We urge all to unite against the recent racist trend!  

Video of the ultra-nationalist barikad.hu website on the events in Gyöngyöspata:

The Hungarian Guard is a Hungarian ultra-nationalist movement supported by the ultra-nationalist Jobbik party, which won 16 % of the national vote in the 2010 general elections. The Guard was banned in July 2009 by a Budapest court. Judge Pataki, in charge of the case, decided that the Hungarian Guard's main aim is to spread fear among Roma and noted that the Guard is also anti-Semitic because in a speech a spokesman of the Guard talked about “Zionist rats, locusts, and grave diggers of the nation.” The judge pointed out that all these activities are unconstitutional and not in conformity with Hungary's international obligations. The Civil Guard Association for a Better Future was founded in 2010 and has been trying ever since to join the National Federation of Civil Guards to legitimize its activities. These attempts have been met with the Federation’s refusal to cooperate. Most Hungarians acknowledge that due to the support of Jobbik and to the similarity of the organization’s stated objectives and the methods used and black uniforms of its members, the Civil Guard Association for a Better Future is the successor of the banned Hungarian Guard."

The Author is ORSOLYA FEHÉR political analyst belongs to  R. I. S. Network
All rights reserved to  R. I. S Network


2011. március 16., szerda

Neo-Fascist Terror in Hungary!!!!!

Dear people,
there is an urgent issue with Roma in Hungary where you can provide actual practical support! Please, read the message below and think if you can help anyhow, write to your local media or IndyMedia, or come to Hungary and join the group of activists in the Roma village!

Dear All,

Around 25 of us went to Gyöngyöspata last night - this is the town that was recently taken over by so-called local security forces, aka gárda folks, who have been threatening, harassing, following the local Roma community - around 450 people on the edge of the town.

The police is there but not really doing much. They do not enter the Roma part of town, where the gárda is marching, sometimes in the middle of the night, shouting at people, with weapons,like axes.

When we got there all the adults were standing outside their houses, guarding the place, frightened, angry, fed up. About 30mins before we got there the Gárda marched through the main street again, with weapons, chanting words of hatred. The parents grabbed their kids out of bed (around 10pm) and ran to relatives a few streets further.

Of course, when we got there there was no gárda present, except for a bunch at the store who immediately followed us as we arrived. 

We were there until around 3am, talking to people, who havent slept for weeks, and told us what has been going on. Their kids are afriad to go to school and some havent been for 2 weeks now - as a result, the state can withdraw their family aid! The teachers and the director at the school are also threatening the kids, saying things like you'll all die, we'll kill you, we'll call the gárda if you dont behave. The gárda gets entry to the school and the kindergarden- which is when parents run there to take their kids. So most of them dont take them anymore. The kids cant sleep, many of them pee themselves; kids are running home after the gárda was chasing them, crying, peeing their pants, refusing to leave the house again. The whole community is terrorized. 

The school is segregated. 2/3 of the students are roma and they have to study on a separate floor. In one class, there are kids from grades 1,2 and 5 in one class! they have around 2-3 subjects altogether whereas the non roma kids have all the mandatory ones. the roma kids are not allowed to go to the local pool and sports hall. 

The gárda follows the roma wherever they go - to the store, the doctor, the school, EVERYWHERE, constantly harassing them. Many take out their penis in the middle of street, to scare the kids. Again, the police is standing by.

When we were there, the police was standing at the end of the main road, but the gárda mostly enters from the other side of the road, about 5mins walk away. Thats the edge of town, there are trees and bushes so they hide out there and come in to the town whenever. no one stops them. the locals run to the police who respond by saying - just behave and it will all be fine. 

People are scared, angry, and more than anything fed up. It's been two weeks now and nothing has changed! It is really a matter of days now before someone is sick of this enough to react in the same way as the gárda and violence will start.... Which is exactly what the gárda is waiting for, probably...They are constantly provoking people.
The police doesnt do anything, unless (!) there is actual violence. 

To cut it short, it seems like the only thing we can (after the petition to the ministry of interior, nothing has changed) do is to go and spend the nights there- looks like the police is willing to protect us, which is ridiculous. It takes 20 non-roma for the gárda to disappear and the police to be there. Ridiculous as it is, this is our only tool right now.

so we are going back in groups. The locals said there will probably be enough people today and tom, but not on f sat sun - so we need people! BAsically, on all 5 of these nights. We have a core of 30 people right now.

If you want to join, let me know and ill put u on the list. Also, let us know if you have a car and can take people. We are taking food with us, cos the locals are afraid to go to the store and they have been hosting every single group that goes there, out of their own pockets..........

So come, bring some food, and your friends!
This is just my own impressions - based on what the locals have said, but feel free to post it, forward it, spread the word! 

Dodo (contact: kdodee@gmail.com)

Links to the video in Hungarian media:

2011. február 1., kedd

Neo-Fascist Hungarian Roma strategy ?

Dear European Citizens!
European Roma brothers and sisters!

Since Hungary is currently the President of the EU, and since it will be Hungary that elaborates the common European Roma strategy program this semester, I think it essential to become familiar with the internal political situation of the Roma issues in Hungary.

A few days ago Gábor Vona chairman of the famed Jobbik, the racist, radical right-wing, neo-fascist Hungarian parliamentary party that is famous for its anti-Semitic actions, held a so-called season opening speech. In front of the at large public he said, as follows:

Nearly one-hour speech Vona Gábor
  • „One of the biggest problems in Hungary is that there are too many Roma-children born.

  •  „Overpopulation” of the Gypsy people must be rolled back.”

  • „In his opinion the situation of Roma should be solved by removing the children from their families, and educating them in state-run homes run by the big churches.”

Citizens of Democratic Europe, European Roma Brothers and Sisters!

What do you think about these overtly racist phrases spoken?

Could this be the Hungarian Roma Strategy?

The saddest thing in all is that no one has responded to these anti-democratic, anti-Gypsy sentences with the exception of the Hungarian Socialist Party in the Hungarian political public life. No one has done anything to protect the gypsies in destitution!

Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is silent; it is a fearful silence! I wonder what the reason might agree with this neo-fascist rhetoric. Why did not he protect his nearly one million Roma compatriots immediately? In the European parliament he pretends as he were a socially sensitive man, but at home he turns his head when seeing the suffering of people that live in extreme poverty.

Florián Farkas, the new president of the National Roma Self-government nor protested for his own people either. It is not too surprising, because he has never defended his own people from the radical-right wing attacks! His behaviour reflected that he even agreed with them. You should know that the National Roma Self-Government of the Hungarian Gypsies is not an independent advocacy organization, but a puppet organization under the leadership of the current government.

Lívia Járóka, Representative of the European Parliament is silent, too. She is also a politician paid and managed by the current Hungarian government.

There is no independent Roma advocacy in Hungary today.

Democratic Citizens of Europe, European Roma Brothers and Sisters!

In Hungary, the Common Strategy of Roma and about the fate of 22 million 
European Roma people is – among others - in the hands of the above-mentioned people!

Béla Radics 
Independent Roma Aktivist
                                                                          Translation help: N. Z.

2011. január 31., hétfő

Béla Radics: Reply to the „Official Party Communiqué” by Flórián Farkas

PIDESZ Party directed politician Flórián Farkas, new president of the National Roma Municipality (ÖCO) that functions also under the total power of the FIDESZ (Hungarian gavernment-party) began his bootlicker and anti-Roma activity. He has already issued a communiqué for the MTI (Hungarian Press Agency) in which he immediately started to protect his Lord and master.

“It is unfair to accuse the Hungarian Government and its leader with anti-Semitism and racism. Representation of the Roma interests has been ensured at the local, regional and national level, since the Hungarian law ensures every possibility and right for the national minorities in Hungary” wrote Flórián Farkas in his apparently official party announcement.
(see: http://portal.c-press.hu/201101287879/belfold/oco-meltatlan-a-rasszizmus-es-antiszemitizmus-vadja.html)

This communiqué by Flórián Farkas have several weak points; it is untrue and is also against the Roma. Instead of serving the interest of the Roma it defends the interest of a party.

It is well-known that Parliamentary representation of the national and ethnic minorities in Hungary has not been settled for 20 years now, and therefore the Hungarian legislation and all the consequent governments have been encumbered with violating the Constitution (since 1989). The rate of the Roma population in Hungary is approximately 8%, therefore, the Roma ought to have approximately 20 democratically elected representatives in the Hungarian Parliament.

Instead, there are only 3 representatives of Roma origin, whose task is not the real and authoritative representation of the Roma but the strict follow-up of the policy of their party, i.e. “PARTY REGULARITY”.

The Minority Election Act is antidemocratic at several points on local, regional and also national levels. The law does not allow participation at the election for independent representatives that undertake their identity and that wish to act for their people. It prescribes that only members of parties or organizations may participate on the elections as representatives. Besides, there is a dull act that defines that who can be considered as Roma in Hungary: the one that considers himself a Roma. This act is the forcing-bed of the “Ethno business”!

Its absurdity: Based on the act in question, the Hungarian party called the JOBBIK FOR HUNGARY that has been proved a racist, anti-Semitic and discriminative may found a Gypsy Minority Municipality any time. An absurdity within absurdity is that the four persons in arrest for accused by murdering the Roma have the right to identify themselves as Roma!

Flórián Farkas also claims that his party and government, and also his master and commander “Monsieur” Viktor Orbán has been accused with racism and anti-Semitism!

The party servant of the FIDESZ (Hungarian gavernment-party) Mr.President must have some disturbances of his memory.

He forgets about the fact
• that it was his party, his master and commander responsible for the fact that the JOBBIK party could enter the Parliament wearing their fascist uniform.

• that his party, his master and commander have never isolated openly from the extreme rightist, anti-Semitic, racist and anti-Roma rhetoric and behaviour.

• that his party, his master and commander permitted for FIDESZ politicians and their Madách Prize Awarded “icons” together with their extreme rightist colleagues called for the so-called true Hungarians to act against the Roma in one of the FIDESZ TV channels.

• Mr.Presidents has also forgotten about the main slogan at the sympathising demonstration with the Madách Prize Awarded FIDESZ celebrity – that we may rightfully call an anti-Roma demonstration – was “Death For the Roma!” In the background we saw the Vice President of the Fidesz – Lungo Drom, Félix Farkas, as well.

The photo shows:
(Zsolt Bayer, or as he has been recently defined in Europe the “Feces-Antisemite”. Behind hem: Vice President of the Lungo Drom Félix Farkas. The crowd is shouting happily in the background: “Death to the Gypsies!” )

• Flórián Farkas does not remember that tens of thousand Roma brothers and sisters were obliged to leave their homeland during the FIDESZ government in 1998-2002, and to settle down and ask for refugee in foreign countries, and as a consequence of this Roma exodus it was himself that representing the interests of the FIDESZ government acted against the interest of the Roma while acting as a false witness in Canada. It was also announced by the Appellate Courtyard of Canada.

We could enlist for long the details of the political behaviour that made several people believe that our present government is racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Roma. I can state that the FIDESZ, “Monsieur” Viktor Orbán and Flórián Farkas when seeing the age-old persecution of the Roma turned their heads away instead of sticking up for them.

Flórián Farkas mentioned the uniform Roma strategy supported also by the EU, as the “reason” of the attack against “them”! 

Therefore we call on the Hungarian Government to publicise details of the Roma strategy and the identity of the “experts” involved! We also call on the leaders of every European democratic country to involve experts and lay supporters of Roma origin independent from political forces and parties that wish to act for their own people!

Europe has no right to make decisions upon groups of peoples without asking for the opinion of the millions of interested, leaving them out of the decision making, legislation and programs. This would be the profanation of democracy and the basic human rights!

 Béla Radics (founding member – Independent and Authentic Roma Right Movement)