Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Nationalists protest against crime

This past weekend, members from various Hungarian nationalist organizations took part in a protest in the small town of Devecser. Devecser was effected by the toxic red sludge disaster in 2010 as the whole town had to be evacuated. Members of the New Hungarian Guard (Új Magyar Gárda), Jobbik political party, Sixty Four County Youth Movement (HVIM) and the Betyársereg were all present at the protest in Devecser.

It is estimated that up to 1,000 people attended the protest by the various right-wing groups. They were protesting against Roma (gypsy) crime in general and what had occurred in the town recently. A Hungarian family was attacked by a group of Roma in the town at the end of July. This is what prompted the nationalist groups to protest this past weekend.

The demonstration started near the Devecser Catholic Church under heavy police presence. The speakers at the protest were from all the nationalist groups that attended. The message from all the speakers was loud and clear. Something had to be done about the issue of Roma crime against ethnic Hungarians. They all spoke for the need for Hungarians to have the right to self-defence in order to protect themselves from criminals. The speakers also called for more police presence in the town to deter Roma criminals and keep order. The call for the death penalty to be re-instated in Hungary was also mentioned by the speakers. The death penalty in Hungary was abolished with the regime change twenty years ago.

The protesters marched through the town including the streets where the Roma who attacked the Hungarian family live. They gathered in front of the house were the Roma lived and protested quite loudly. Police kept the local Roma and the ethnic Hungarians apart to prevent violence. Gábor Ferenczi, Jobbik member of Parliament, was injured when a rock was hurled at him by counter-protester in the town. He was rushed to a local hospital where he had his injury looked after.

Since the regime change twenty years, nearly 2,000 ethnic Hungarians have been murdered by members of the Roma minority in Hungary. Crimes (murders, assaults, thefts) against ethnic Hungarians often go unreported by the mainstream media in Hungary which is left-leaning. One of the worst crimes in recent memory was in 2006 when an ethnic Hungarian school teacher hit a Roma girl in an Eastern Hungarian village with his car. The girl was uninjured as the teacher's car just grazed her and she ran off. Word quickly spread like wild fire in the village what had occurred. A large Roma mob then apprehended the Hungarian teacher and  beat him to death in front of his own children who were travelling with him that day.

The laws in Hungary apply to all citizens in the country, Roma and ethnic Hungarians. Many ethnic Hungarians feel as if the government, the police and the law is letting them down in the recent wave of crime against them. Many of them live in rural areas in small villages and towns were there is little or no police protection. They have taken it upon themselves to defend themselves from criminals. The Hungarian right-wing is getting more vocal in its demands to have the issue of Roma crime in Hungary properly addressed and dealt with. 

The conservative Hungarian government in power still refuses to acknowledge the Roma crime wave targeting ethnic Hungarians. They want to sweep this issue under the carpet and hope that it will go away. The only way anything can be done is if the problem is acknowledged in the first place. Without acknowledgement and then action, the problem will continue to grow. It is a good bet that there will be more protests by the Hungarian nationalist groups as government inaction continues.