Easter in Gyöngyöspata

by Dorottya Karsay

This year we will miss our regular family Easter with ham and the well deserved rest. Today we are heading to Gyöngyöspata. We are civilians called by the local Roma who are afraid: police won’t protect them this weekend.


Véderő is organizing a three-day military training in the village. Last week they just “cleaned up” and did some “landscaping” which in fact meant two days of terrorizing the local Roma. However, tomorrow paramilitary forces will start the training. Their time table contains, among other things, use of firearms, target-practice, night tactics. After the passivity of police last weekend locals are afraid for a reason and they immediately accepted a private offer that allowed them to evacuate the majority of women and children for a few days.

Still Life in Gyöngyöspata. Photo by Péter Harkai.


We find it very important in the current situation to express our solidarity with the local Roma constantly harrassed by extremist groups marching in the village since early spring. We also want to be there so that the police protects the Roma and that they take action against the racist and hate-mongering manifestations of Véderő – at least this, if they won’t stop them from organizing their military training.

This Friday, on the Day of Earth, we are going to clean the creek next to the Gypsy neighborhood and the street. Saturday we will continue the work, we will dig canals in the gardens for excess water and dig up some gardens too so that potatoes and vegetables can be planted. Saturday afternoon we will celebrate with cooking together and music. Sunday we will play soccer, show a movie and, as requested by locals, organize a great game of cards. All this organized by civilians, of civil money, just because we want to be there – and because we need to be there.

Join us any time you wish, stay for as long as you want! You will get tools for the work and if you stay for the night it’s an extra cool thing because we will probably have to do nightshifts and it’s important that there is a lot of us. Bring a sleeping bad, clothes to get dirty and food! A photo or video camera can always come in handy!

Everybody is welcome!

The Nights in Gyöngyöspata Team

To read the original article: http://www.commmunity.hu/2011/04/22/husvet-gyongyospatan/
Translated by Orsi Virág

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