A local Hungarian police force has banned a rally planned by the Magyar Garda, a radical nationalist movement connected to the Jobbik party, in NW Hungary, a police official told MTI on Wednesday.
The Magyar Garda, originally registered as an organisation, now describes itself as a "movement".
Local police press officer Tunde Kocsis said the event, which the Garda planned for Ivan village on Saturday, would disrupt traffic in the area.
Representatives of the Magyar Garda said earlier they wanted to demonstrate because of a recent rise in thefts and rowdiness in the village, which they insist is owing to the local Roma community.
Ivan, with a population of 1,400, has a Roma community of 270 people, including 60 who are school-age.
Jobbik registered "Magyar Garda" in June 2007 as a "cultural organisation" to "prepare youth spiritually and physically for extraordinary situations when it might be necessary to mobilise the people."
A Budapest court of first instance recently gave a ruling banning the organisation, which it is appealing against.
Read here and here and here and here for some background on the Magyar Garda and their parent party, Jobbik. Jobbik is a far right party which is described as fascist, neo-fascist or far right. Typical of such parties, Jobbik claims that it is not racist but pro-Hungarian, pro-family values, etc., yet makes anti-Semitism and anti-Gypsy racism key aspects of its program and rhetoric. The Magyar Garda are their political shock troops, frequently demonstrating against Jews and Gypsies in paramilitary uniforms. These groups are attempting to capitalize on high levels of anti-Semitism in Hungary. A 2007 polling report by the ADL found to be the highest of six European nations surveyed, connecting it with economic fears. (Read pdf here.) By the way Jobbik is currently suing in Hungary's supreme court to have Israel cited for war crimes in Gaza. (Read here.)
The Magyar Garda -- "Magyar means "Hungarian" -- has pledged to train its members in the use of firearms and its members wear a uniform of black pants and vests with white shirts, and a cap emblazoned with a medieval coat of arms, the Arpad Stripes. The striped, red and white symbol is a centuries old Hungarian banner, a version of which was used by the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party that briefly ruled Hungary toward the end of World War II. The party murdered thousands of Jews and deported hundreds of thousands more to Nazi death camps. Jewish groups, including the World Jewish Congress, have condemned the founding of the new "guard" and have called on the government in Budapest to act against it.
Fuzessy also stated that:
Zoltan Fuzessy, 35, uses his terraced house in Gravesend, Kent, as an HQ to promote his far-right movement.
Fuzessy is vice-president of the Jobbik party, whose members freely boast of their hatred towards Jews and make sick jokes about the Holocaust.
The party, called “the shame of Hungary” by the country’s PM, has paramilitaries who dress in black uniforms like Hitler’s SS and has close ties to the British National Party.
"Those who call us Nazi are just Communists."
Nick Griffin and Zoltan Fuzessy
[Note regarding use of the term "Gypsy": I understand that this term is considered offensive by many Roma and Sinti. I use it only so a general readership, who may be unfamiliar with the correct terms, will know what I'm talking about. I apologize to all who find it offensive. Any ideas about how to better phrase this would be appreciated. -- ADAM HOLLAND]