The death-march of Jobbik is waiting for an order

In torch-light, under the cloud of flags with Árpád-stripes and Jobbik symbols and between the walls of the armed riot control police unit a crowd of some hundred is marching in Hejőszalonta.

2nd of April, Saturday evening. Ten days ago, a fifty-year old, divorced woman was murdered in this village of Borsod County. The crowd, verbally abusing Gypsies, Jews and liberals was heading to the house of the victim, – called „the poor Teri” by the locals- who was allegedly murdered and robbed by an 18-year old boy. The presumed perpetrator is not from Hejőszalonta, he was just visiting his relatives who were tenants of the woman. The details of the crime are not revealed yet, the only known fact is that the later victim, her tenants and the suspected murderer had been drinking together that night. Nevertheless, everyone around me in the march is convinced that the woman is a victim of the „Gypsy terror”.

Jobbik made sure they fired up these feelings prior to the demonstration. They distributed their brochure called „Bors vezér”, the front page of which shows the alleged perpetrator among policemen. The caption: „We managed to snap a picture of the murderer from Hejőszalonta. The victim is again Hungarian…” White letters on red base proclaim: „Csanád Szegedi is on the warpath again!”; on the 8th page, the article of Gergő Balla, MP of Jobbik, refers to the victim as „Hungarian woman” and to the perpetrator as „Gypsy”. They suggest that the crime was ethnically motivated: “Gypsy killed Hungarian”. They reached their goal: The crowd marching through the settlement takes it as a proven fact, that the fifty-year old women is a victim of racist murder due to the Gypsy-Hungarian ethnic tensions.

I am walking with the crowd. The participants are shaking their fists at the houses where they think Roma live. There is no answer from the houses. The windows are dark, no one is looking around in the yards and the dogs are nowhere to seen. On the wall of a grey house, the name of the street is written incorrectly with cramped handwriting. The crowd is pointing at the words, laughing and saying: well-well, the Gypsies cannot even speak Hungarian. Next to me walks a well-dressed couple, around fifty, staring angrily at the silent houses.

– “All the Gypsies are parasites and workless nobodies! They are not only cutting out the trees, they are intentionally killing the Hungarians, they should all be damned and just get out of here – says the woman, who looks like an average shop assistant to me. Her husband with glasses, looking like an average artisan, goes further: my biggest problems are not the Gypsies but the Jews. Since the change of the political system, they are the lords here!

The politicians, giving speeches at the demonstration do not have to do much to convince the crowd. At the meeting before the torch-light march – where several people arrived in military formation, but the police was just standing by – the Jobbik politician Márton Szegedi was counting the sins of the Gypsy criminals endlessly. Then he threatened the leaders of FIDESZ and KDNP to put an end to the Gypsy criminality otherwise they will blame this government for each and every death of a Hungarian . Their punishment will be death or life-long imprisonment in “self-supporting” prisons. Zsolt Egyed made even bigger hit by “sending a message to those at the Middle-East who are planning to come here”. The message is: “we will clear away all the waste from Hungary!”

After being barded with such “theoretical armour”, the crowd approached the victim’s house. Halfway, we hear the choir of the counter-protesters from the Petőfi Sándor Street, which is closed by cordons: Nazis go home! Nazis go home!

Behind the cordons and the wall of policemen, participants of the counter-demonstration organized by Amnesty International, LMP and other civil organizations protest against the marching. There are approx. 100 persons, they arrived around 4/5pm. Orsolya Jeney, wearing the T-shirt of Amnesty is encouraging people through a loudspeaker: “We condemn the scapegoating of Gypsies. We came here to show that not only Jobbik exist in this country!”

Thanks to the cordons and the police the two crowds do not meet, but they are shouting at each other from a 50 meters distance. I am standing in the crowd of Jobbik. Next to me, a slim young man is shouting with red face: “You will all hang! Die you murderers!” A man around 40 comes closer from the other side to take pictures and the slim guy roars: “You dirty Jew!” The man answers calmly: – “Nazi prick”.

It’s over; the police is accompanying the marchers and won’t let them stop. The final destination is the house of the victim. At the scene of the murder, Gergő Balla sends a message to LMP: “it is Saturday, you should not be working”. The crowd rewards the verbal abuse of Jews with clapping. After that, the “teacher of the nation”, Árpád Miklós, Jobbik MP in Edelény says: “if the governments does not strengthen the police, then we will organize it for ourselves and take the power by force”. The crowd scans: “Arms! Arms! Arms!” and I look at the man with gimlet eyes next to me in uniform and army boots wearing unofficial insignia. I look at the members of the Guard, and the National Defence Army in the light of the torches, at these paunchy family men who stand at attention and wait resolutely for the next order.

Tension-inducing actions

Zsolt Török, spokesman of MSZP explained the absence of the socialists at Hejőszalonta by saying that maintaining law and order is the responsibility of the police, and thus the government. He added that since in situations like this political action can only induce further tension, MSZP is rather looking for solution than going to the demonstrations.

To go to the original article:
Translated by Eszter Kurtán


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