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Far-Right Demo in Törökszentmiklós: Heavy Police Presence and Tension Without Violence

Ábrahám Vass 2019.05.22.

Despite a tense atmosphere, László Toroczkai’s far-right Mi Hazánk party‘s protest “against gypsy terror” was carried out without incident yesterday in Törökszentmiklós.

The basis for Mi Hazánk’s demonstration is said to be an event that occurred weeks ago in the Eastern Hungarian town. A man presumed to be under the influence of either drugs or alcohol severely beat two people in a tobacco store without cause. The altercation was recorded and quickly went viral. After being arrested by police, it came to light that the man had previously assaulted another person under similar circumstances and been arrested and subsequently released from custody.

Toroczkai speaking. Image by MTI/Zoltán Balogh

Mi Hazánk and its allies originally planned to hold a march in the town. However, the police initially banned it, only granting permission for a “static demonstration.” The party still showed up accompanied by several allies, including the militant far-right organization, Betyársereg.

A number of organizations – including human rights organizations, opposition MPs and political parties such as Momentum and Szolidaritás (Solidarity) – held counter-demonstrations just meters from Mi Hazánk’s. The only thing separating the two demonstrations were the police. In addition, local Roma men gathered while the police blockaded the entrance to the Roma settlement.

Betyársereg in Törökszentmiklós. Image by MTI/Zoltán Balogh.

The demonstrations reportedly ended without incident.

Toroczkai praised the 300-400 who attended, calling them the “bravest people in Hungary at the moment.” He explained that the party’s only intention was to bring “order” and “protect the Hungarian people from the Gypsy terror.” The decision to demonstrate came after witnessing the state’s failure to do its job, Toroczkai reveals. He went on to blame Roma organizations for inciting the Roma against his party. Furthermore, he promised not to cease “until order is restored.”

According to Deputy Chairman of Momentum, Anna Donáth, the government merely “sits back and laughs while others are subjected to incitement. With every poster and use of propaganda, it triggers the tension. As a result, we now have a branch party of Fidesz wanting to march here.”

Image by MTI/Zoltán Balogh

Imre Markót, the town’s mayor elected thanks to Jobbik’s support, stated that he strongly disagrees with the demonstration. He firmly believes the incident was a unique case and condemns the prosecutor for releasing the man after his first arrest. He also insists there’s no Roma-Hungarian conflict present in the town. (Mi Hazánk was formed last year by ex-Jobbik politicians. The new far-right party consistently targets its former community, criticizing it for shifting to the center and forgetting its “roots.”)

Although the area’s MP, Fidesz politician István Boldog, was present at the demonstration, he refused to comment, HVG reports.

featured image: local Roma men facing the police; via Bernadett Szél- Facebook