Great Hungarian Protest Photo & Police Brutality Video

The photo above is from the UK Guardian.

There is a short video of police brutality against Budapest demonstrators on YouTube here.  

Hat tip to Daniel MacAdams, who spent most of the 1990s in Budapest.


6 Responses to Great Hungarian Protest Photo & Police Brutality Video

  1. Jim October 28, 2006 at 9:14 am #

    I was sent the following information from a Hungarian think tank:
    > ITDIS Brief
    > Violence on the Anniversary of 1956
    > Yesterday, the Hungarian government commemorated what many here consider
    > to be the single most important event for Hungary in the 20th century-the
    > revolution of 1956. The irony is that at this most important occasion,
    > one which has been planned for and anticipated for months, no Hungarians
    > were present. Well, OK, a handful was there-members of the ruling
    > coalition of the Hungarian Socialist Party and the Alliance of Free
    > Democrats, a few individuals reading poems and standing symbolically in an
    > old truck reminiscent of 1956, and of course a military band. A number of
    > foreign dignitaries were also present. But otherwise, the events went on
    > without Hungarians. Indeed, ordinary Hungarians were not allowed to get
    > within a kilometer of the Parliament, where the official events were
    > taking place. Beginning the night before, a barrage of special police
    > units had cleared all outlying streets and even shut down the metro to
    > prevent passengers from getting off at the stop near the Parliament.
    > Is this what Laszlo Sَlyom, the president of Hungary, had in mind when he
    > said that all Hungarians should unite so that there could be a real
    > national commemoration? Imagine an American president celebrating the
    > Fourth of July in front of the Capitol with a spattering of foreign guests
    > and a few handpicked kids on bikes in a little parody of a parade, with a
    > solitary fire truck for good measure. A police cordon forms a vast circle
    > in order to keep ordinary Americans from getting closer than a mile.
    > Imagine that an American president did this not on any ordinary July 4th,
    > but on the Bicentennial. Indeed, it’s rather more like Orwell than a
    > democracy at the start of the 21st century.
    > The three main official events of the day–10:00 on front of the
    > Parliament, 5:30 again at the Parliament, and 7:30 at the new ’56
    > memorial–were all equally and eerily quiet. Cameras of the state
    > television station MTV1 dutifully filmed the performers and the guests,
    > careful not to stray beyond that narrow focus to reveal the silent and
    > empty streets, or the hundreds of police safeguarding that silence. On
    > another channel, HIR TV, the opposition television, showed tens of
    > thousands of demonstrators at a counter-event organized by the two leading
    > opposition parties, the Alliance of Young Democrats (Fidesz) and the
    > Christian Democrats. The crowd consisted of all age groups, from children
    > to grandmothers and everything in between. The sound of the speakers was
    > nearly drowned out by the constant circling overhead of a police
    > helicopter as well as the constant punctuation of police firing tear gas
    > canisters into crowds on neighboring streets. Police also used water
    > cannons, truncheons, rubber bullets and mounted police to drive the crowds
    > back and maintain the wide circle of silence around the Parliament,
    > injuring more than one hundred people in the process.
    > Why did the government go to such lengths to create and maintain the
    > cordon of silence around its official events? Because they knew that to
    > allow ordinary Hungarians anywhere near would have been to allow shouts of
    > protest and dissent. Many Hungarians are determined to see the downfall
    > of the prime minister, Ferenc Gyurcsلny. They feel he relinquished his
    > right to lead the country when on a leaked recording he admitted to lying
    > for months about the economic state of the country in order to win the
    > general election, and did so using obscene language that was an insult to
    > everyone. The fact that his government coopted what should have been a
    > day of national commemoration has further fuelled their anger and dismay:
    > Gyurcsلny was himself a leader in the communist hierarchy, and his wife is
    > the grand-daughter of one of the officials responsible for the bloody
    > repression of the revolution. As such, many feel Gyurcsلny’s praise for
    > the Freedom Fighter’s heroism in 1956 sounds hollow, insincere and out of
    > place.
    > The government is trying hard now to discredit the demonstrators as right
    > wing extremists. To dismiss one’s critics as fascists and extremists is a
    > tactic communists have been using for decades. But the tens of thousands
    > who demonstrated in Budapest last night and indeed around the country were
    > not extremists. There certainly were a few such people among the
    > demonstrators, but they were by far in the minority. The majority were
    > merely Hungarians who want true freedom and an accountable government,
    > people who did nothing to provoke the police violence used against them.
    > They were Hungarians who did not deserve the beating they received
    > yesterday and the world should be outraged at the behavior of this
    > government and the violence it has employed to silence its critics.
    > Katharine Cornell Gorka
    > Co-Director
    > Institute for Transitional Democracy and International Security (ITDIS)
    > 15 Erdosor utca

  2. Stewart Rhodes October 29, 2006 at 4:26 pm #

    Jim, was the video of police brutality from that commemoration of the 1956 revolt? Truly Orwellian.

    We are on the same path, just not as far down it, here at home.


  3. Eve M.Nixon September 8, 2007 at 2:36 am #

    My father was a Chendor(sp?) during WWII but I can’t seem to find out exactly what this portion of the military actually entailed. I was born in Hungary in 1943 and had to be smuggled out of Hungary since my father was in a Russian Prison camp. Any news of this kind of information?

  4. Gergely Csák July 3, 2008 at 9:31 am #

    The protesters was right wing extremist who attacked the police and the building of the national television too. Nobody was really arrested for long time or convicted by the court.
    There is complete liberty in Hungary…
    An Hungarian

  5. Enpera July 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    Gergely Csák is lying. There is police-terror in Hungary nowadays, there is no liberty of speech. We have no legal cabinet. This protesters was civil pacific protesters.

    A REAL Hungarian

  6. Sophie July 6, 2009 at 5:23 pm #

    It is with a very keen feeling of fear that I note how the Anglophone press is treating the latest (4 July 2009) demonstration of police brutality in Hungary: Around 200 people, most of them members of the organisation known as the Gárda (a uniformed, unarmed group of civilians, none of whom has ever been accused of illegal activity) held a sit-down protest against this organisation’s banning by a court heavily presided over by sympathisers of the present government. Of the 2,000+ police who turned out for the occasion, those within hand’s reach of the seated demonstrators attacked them with teargas, then dragged them away, one-by-one, for incarceration. (Among the incarcerated was the leader of the Gárda, and of the party Jobbik, a new political party that gained 15% of the national vote in the last EP election, in which the ruling Socialist Party gained 1%.) The Anglophone press nevertheless writes approvingly of the police action, and condemns the protestors as neo-Nazis. This press takes no account of the fact that in Hungary, the prevailing opinion of the police force is that it is the re-incarnation of the brutal political police of the communist era, the ÁVH.

    Gergely Csák, the csendőrség was a military unit with civilian policing duties, mostly deployed in rural Hungary.