Activists arrested–Orbán’s police guard racist billboards using surveillance

Six opposition activists who defaced the Orbán government’s rabidly xenophobic billboards were arrested at dawn, two of whom were kept at the Zugló police station for several hours. The three men and three women are all in their twenties and thirties. According to the activists who have since been released, police officers are being used to keep the growing number of racist government billboards under constant surveillance and authorities are on the hunt for activists who are planning to deface them. The activists who defaced the first of the series of billboards in Budapest are affiliated with a group called Y-GEN, which is the youth wing of the small Együtt opposition party, originally associated with former Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai.

The government, however, is going ahead with the printing of 333 billboard-size posters which read: “If you come to Hungary, you can’t take away the jobs of Hungarians.” Additionally,  the government is printing twice this number of billboards with other slogans, all of them aimed to rile up xenophobia and racism within Hungarian society against immigrants and foreigners, and to stop the flow of Fidesz supporters leaving the governing party to the far-right Jobbik.

“If these billboards are put up, we will tear them apart,” exclaimed Y-GEN’s activists. Viktor Szigetvári, the leader of the Együtt party, posted a series of photos on Facebook showing numerous defaced government billboards. The centre-left party also confirmed that they plan to launch a nation-wide movement that will aim to destroy the government’s billboards anywhere they spring up.

Another example of the Orbán government's defaced racist billboard. Here, they are telling immigrants that if they come to Hungary, they must abide by Hungarian laws.

Another example of the Orbán government’s defaced racist billboard. Here, they are telling immigrants that if they come to Hungary, they have to respect Hungarian culture.

In this racist government billboard, the regime tells immigrants that if they come to Hungary, they  have to respect Hungarian laws.

In this racist government billboard, the regime tells immigrants that if they come to Hungary, they have to respect Hungarian laws.

The Orbán government’s billboards are insidious: they are meant to fill the heads of Hungarians with three falsehoods:

  1. Immigrants and foreigners are trying to destroy Hungarian culture;
  2. Immigrants and foreigners are taking their jobs;
  3. Immigrants and foreigners are criminals and don’t abide by Hungarian laws;

Fidesz has accused the left-wing opposition of “aggression” and “violence,” when it came to light that Együtt was behind the defaced billboards.

This paper commends all activists for taking matters into their own hands. Civil disobedience is the only way to respond to the activities of Hungary’s repulsive, far-right regime. Government campaigns such as this one use threat perception to create a tidal wave of hatred against minorities in Hungary.

41 Comments

  1. Truly disgusting. Looks like Orban works really hard to get Hungary ejected from the EU by stirring up the water relentlessly. Possibly until he creates a vortex that hopefully will suck him in.

  2. Miklos Banfi says:

    Just the notion for us, real immigrants is utterly abhorable even to imagine that we would have met these kind of messages when we entered the receiving country. Notwithstanding these messages are not even meant for the forigners coming to the country for whatever reason, but the dirty manipulation for those lost Hungarian countrymen – most of them Fidesz voters.
    It is harder and harder to say to be a proud Hungarian, because of the shame of these repulsive government propaganda.

  3. What is racists about telling foreigners they have to respect the law and culture of a country? Everybody who is informed about what is happening in Western Europe knows this is not a strange question!

    Some facts! Masive wave of rape of young white girls by third world immigrants in the UK and France, rape wave of white women in Northern Europe by third world immigrants, huge crime waves by, yes, third world immigrants, whole neighbourhoods changed to third world country status, demands of special privelages by third world immigrants, black on white crime, arab (mostly lebanese) gangs in Germany to name a few facts.

    What is racist about the majority of Hungarians don’t want their cities to end up like in France, the UK, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands ect where the majority is third world immigrant with no go zones (like Malmö, Paris, London to name a few). All these countries struggle with huge problems that become worse by the day.

    What is racist about that Hungarians want Hungary to stay Hungarian?

    This is not racists, but our right as Hungarians! It is racists that the liberal left elite wants to destroy every Europian nation and it’s ethnic make up and native culture on the altar of multiculturalism / multiethnicalism.

    Why is it suddenly “normal” to open up your borders and why does suddenly everyone from the third world has the right to come here? It is unnatural and it will end in a lot of conflict as we can see around Europe already. These are facts!

    There are enough safe zones in the erea were those people came from! Saudi Arabia is building a fence to keep those “refugees” out. This is also a fact.

    These days all liberal left supporters lost their common sense if it about third world immigrants and their behaviour all over Europe. Why do they hate their own nation and culture so much for a suicidal and sick ideology? It is as worse as devoted marxists.

    Political correctness at it’s worse!

  4. Pierre Divenyi says:

    Geza-the-racist’s remarks would need a longer reply: he obviously does not have his facts correct, does not read (except the far-right publications) and does not think, does not ask the question for what reason is there an influx of thousands of people from unfortunate countries into the more fortunate ones.

    My one-liner comment is that I find ironic that there are billboards reminding people to respect Hungary’s laws and culture when the Orban government does neither of these.

  5. Liladiadal says:

    Mr. Divenyi, and what would you know about it?

  6. Liladiadal says:

    So what these vandals suggest is that if someone comes to Hungary, s/he does not need to obey the law of the country, or respect the culture of the country. Try this attitude in the US, Israel or Saudi Arabia, and your stay will be cut short. Rightly so.

    • Christopher Adam says:

      Liladiadal,

      What papers are you reading? Where are you hearing about hoards of immigrants coming to Hungary to engage in criminal activity? This is a figment of your imagination…and that of many on the far-right and in government circles.

      • Well even a liberal left “believer” can not be so blind, naive and ignorant about what is going on in Western Europe on a big scale by third world immigrants?

        What papers you are reading? The political correct media?

        What is happening in Western Europe is Hungary’s future if we allow these people in.

        What is wrong with you people?! You hate Europe’s native population and it’s cultures so much, that you want to replace them by third world immigrants and turn the whole continent into the third world?

        Why should we allow people in from the third word in the first place? Why should we change our way of life?Nothing to do with racism, just common sense and knowledge of human nature and the huge differences between ethnic groups which end up in conflict.

        They will not become “us”! In time they’ll turn Europe into the third world!

      • Liladiadal says:

        As I live in Hungary, I don’t need to blur my grasping the reality of daily arrival of Afghans, Syrians, Bangladeshi and whatnot by the hundreds through reading papers. The benefit of experiencing events firsthand which you clearly lack.

  7. yes, this is for the Hungarians in the villages that probably haven’t met a foreigner in their life… No brain, No worries.

  8. András B. Göllner says:

    I would suggest to Liladiadal, Géza and others who are convinced that a tidal wave of Muslims is in the process of destroying European civilization, (and snow-white-Christian Hungary) to take a break. Take a time out. Try it. Give your convictions a test, it won’t hurt. Read Toronto Globe and Mail’s European Bureau Chief’s excellent book The Myth of the Muslim Tide – Do Immigrants Threaten the West ? Once you have read this book, which tests all of the assumptions or beliefs that Orbán’s government and its loyal followers espouse, come back here and say that it is NOT disgusting and racially prejudiced to put up the kind of signs Orbán’s Party is putting up all over Hungary. In the meantime godspeed to the civil rights activists who are defacing this government led insult to the dignity of our fellow human beings

    • Liz Aucoin says:

      I must point out that Geza is an American with immigrant grandparents. He comes from the south and feels strongly about “white power”. He does nothing but get his KKK and Westboro Baptist buddies to infiltrate forums to spread hatred to Hungarians.

  9. Charlie London says:

    I’ve reposted this (edited) post just for Liladiadal’s benefit.

    We once had a very effective poster campaign here in England:

    The poster showed two identical brains of identical size and a third much smaller brain.

    Under the first it said “the brain of a white person”.

    Under the second it said “the brain of a black person”.

    Under the third much smaller (tiny!) brain it said:

    ” The brain of a racist “.

    • Liladiadal says:

      So living in England, you feel competent enough to formulate opinion on Hungarian issues. Wouldn’t worrying about UKIP or feeling ashamed about the Iraq war be closer to your business?

      • Who says he has to choose? It’s possible to hold an informed opinion about more than one country’s affairs, you know.

  10. Charlie London says:

    I’m not dignifying Geza with a response.

  11. Charlie London says:

    Btw could you all stop coming to England please?

    All those no-go areas where Hungarians only speak Hungarian.

    Please leave London for the Londoners.

    And stop raping all our children.

    All those Hungarians foisting that Palinka, Pogatcha and shonka on us.

    Yes please let’s keep London for the Londoners and England for the Englanders for goodness sake.

    Stop London being the fourth biggest Hungarian city?

    All those Pure Majgar Racist Bigots. (PMRB’s)

    Go home!

    Keep London Pure!

  12. Charlie London says:

    Why should we allow people in from Hungary in the first place?

    Why should we change our way of life?

    Nothing to do with racism, just common sense and knowledge of human nature and the huge differences between ethnic groups which end up in conflict.

    They will not become “us”! In time they’ll turn England into a bigoted Hungary!

  13. András B. Göllner says:

    As a preliminary to those who are willing to test their bias by reading Doug Saunders here is a shorter piece about the supposed threat immigrants pose to local labour. “Each immigrant creates 1.2 local jobs for local workers, most of them going to native workers, and 62% of these jobs are in non-traded services. Immigrants appear to raise local non-tradables sector wages and to attract native-born workers from elsewhere in the country. Overall, it appears that local workers benefit from the arrival of more immigrants.” For further good news about the impact of immigration check out the recently published findings of economists Gihoon Hong and John McLaren: Are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy? NBER Working Papers. No. 21123 April, 2015. This is what Mr. Orbán and his bigoted friends should be putting up along the dusty roadsides of rural Hungary and not the racially prejudiced falsehoods that seem to mesmerize some of the readers of this post as well…I trust that the good Dr. Bálint Ódor, Hungary’s diligent defender of RCA Viktor in Canada will stand up and say something against the falsehoods His Master’s Voice is spouting hither and yon. Those who respect the dignity of our fellow human beings are not going to be swept aside by the Ambassador’s chocolate coating of his superior’s discriminatory practices. Throwing a bit of loose change around for the victims of the Holocaust, putting a bunch of Klezmer musicians on the stage in Ottawa and Montreal won’t whitewash the discriminatory nature of RCA Viktor, Mr Ambassador.

  14. Wasn’t there an issue of how the advertising contract was awarded to one of Orban’s cronies?

    Perhaps the opposition should take a page from the government’s playbook and create their own billboards with slogans like “When you come to Hungary, march with Pride on July 11” or “When you come to Hungary, respect all our people.”

    • Liladiadal says:

      When you come to Hungary, march with Pride on July 11

      …. and continue the fun at Gizella’s……

  15. Charlie London says:

    Well said András in both your posts above.

    Most sensible democracies realise that immigrant workers bring pure ‘GDP’ when they work in another country.

    This is lost ‘GDP’ in the country of their origin if they were workers.

    Orban’s Hungary is haemorraging ‘GDP’ as the young leave Hungary – so much so that the dodgy KSH figures include them in their job totals.

    Disraeli is alleged to have talked about “lies, damn lies and statistics”.

    In Hungary’s case this is ‘statistics, damn statistics, and lies’.

    I am so proud of London and its mix of cultures, including the Hungarian one, and yesterday was invited to a barbeque of our new Hungarian neighbours. It was a hoot! So many different foods and conversations – her man is American, with many other cultures represented. A really good time had by all with the Palinka flowing freely.

    In Bavaria- the car producing dynamo of Germany – they are crying out for immigrants, more immigrants and even more immigrants to keep their production lines running. Pure GDP.

    Orban doesn’t understand the ramifications of so many leaving – and its affect on GDP.

    If he thinks he can create 1,000,000 jobs by 2020 he’s living in cloud cuckoo land. So far 200,000 mostly workfare jobs.

    And he says “Hungary will be the engine that will drive the EU out of recessio…

    …..ha ha ha ha a haaaaaaaa! Haaaaaaaaaa haaaaaaaaaa oh please stop!!…….ha ha haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ….haaaaaa oh stop…….HaaaaaaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaaa……..oh please stop HaaaaaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaaaa

  16. Charlie London says:

    Apologies for the above I became consumed with laughter!

  17. One of most schizophrenic government, of all times – no discourtesy toward the mentally ill. Repeated reminders of UK, SE, DE are merely highlighting the fact that civilized governments, who are elected public servants, respectfully, dynamically and democratically solve their nation’s ever-evolving needs. Placards spewing this kind of mantra speak about and to the innate, genetic inferiority complex against the logic of science, free enterprise, and liberty. One cannot suck up to a (insert your choice of historical period’s) large power and, at the same time, pounce and trample on the powerless. Schizophrenic, delusional self-reinforcing attempt at double-speak. No sitting government has the right to push its lunatic agenda by utilizing (siphoning) tax-payer funds, then further using said funds by deploying police, and likely the courts against those who are exercising their right to be civilly disobedient. This is simply a diversionary tactic.

  18. This is not about immigrants. It’s about billboards, about Orban’s running amok for power and his personal wealth and about activists and the Hungarian populace that might have chance to awake.

    Fake argument brought here about the threat that immigrants posing to the Hungarian nation. All equivocation.

    The billboard campaign is totally ineffective and useless to communicate with immigrants. Immigrants and refuges don’t dwell at Dagály public pools and don’t read billboards written in Hungarian. Dagály is not a place to talk to them. And billboards are definitely not the way to communicate with them and to integrate immigrants.

    Immigrants can cause headache to the adopting countries but this billboard campaign is not the way to handle it, as it makes everything even worse.

    Even the blind can see that Orban is addressing the Hungarian populace but only the fool and those on payroll would deny it.

    The prime danger is, that unless the Hungarians awake and can see through the dirty work of the great manipulator, Orban will turn this tool and his power against his own nation. That is what keeps him busy.
    What is this tool? Hate mongering, lying, manipulation, brainwashing, phobia triggering, mishandling and political gambling.
    I said unless the Hungarians wake up. There’s something more. The world is going to wake up and see through the dirty work of the master manipulator and the whole nation will suffer the consequences of that and will pay a heavy price for that.
    Now that is the real problem and not the immigrants. Orban is only using them, exploring them to step on the neck of his own nation.

  19. Miklos Banfi says:

    Thank you Richard for eloquently rephrasing what I said above and truly this is the issue here, what these 2 well equipped troll tried to distract attention from. Professor Göllner, you really think that these 2 are about to read your recommended literature and change their mind? I know you don’t…

    • Miklos, no they are not well equipped. They are just testing us. The well equipped will come later.

  20. Charlie London says:

    Yes. The post is about the poster campaign – of course.

    But some Hungarian’s reactions indicate how they fully support Orban and his REAL message.

    And show how they do indeed think.

    Christopher Adam’s post has illuminated Orban’s mendacity thats is all.

    The immigration ‘debate’ here just reinforces what Orban is really up to – as if those outside Hungary really needed any confirmation.

    It’s the poor population inside that don’t.

    However it is heart warming that some brave souls are prepared to risk jobs – and everything – to show they know what Orban is up to.

    Heart warming too that Orban’s Zeitgeist has failed to get a constitution-changing majority in Turkey.

    The AK party is now a minority government and Erdogan has had his wings clipped.

    His suppression of the media; control of the judiciary; and religious domination (sound familiar?) has made the population think again – just before he makes himself more powerful and a President of a Presidential republic (sound familiar?(2)).

    The people of Turkey are waking up from their bad dream.

    Wake Up Hungary!

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  22. Now, let’s go one more time.
    National Consultation. Its’ very romantic. Why I don’t buy in it? Am I missing something?

    When did Orban stage the same shrill National Consultation when he arbitrarily;
    deprived Hungary from being a Republic,
    looted the pension found,
    altered the Constitution,
    changed and created more than 500 new laws,
    created new Hungarian citizenship law,
    created new media law,
    wasted billions of dollars for disadvantageous deals buying up companies for ten times more of their real values,
    introduced a new whistleblowing law—Act CLXV of 2013 on Complaints and Public Interest Disclosure,
    waged a full scale attack on fundamental rights and democratic institutions,
    picked a fight with the EU,
    proclaimed the internet tax,
    introduced the Sunday shopping ban,
    made a secret nuclear deal with Russia and classified the documents of
    the deal with Rosatom for more than a decade?????????

    O.K. I am not going to write a book, I could write much more, though.
    So a selective national Consultation. Sometimes not necessary as he makes up his mind in his infinite wisdom, sometimes he feels an irresistible urge to launch a consultation campaign.

  23. Charlie London says:

    Richard

    The Rosatom fix is for THIRTY years.

    Orban’s perfidy will only become known then – long after he’s past his sell by date …..

    ……and prosecution.

  24. Miklos Banfi says:

    Hi Richard, don’t worry we are on the same page.. Well equipped meant to be at least ambigouos. One of them is being well trainded provocateurs, with quiet developed English skills. Just guessing, they are not in the public slavery cast. What you may hint at for later on, wheather they will be armed and dangerous, is an other issue.
    Good job on elaborating with your list on the ever missing National Consultation..

    • Well, what I thought of was the government organized and executed barbaric troll attack on Francis Fukuyama’s pieces of “Do Institutions Really Matter? and “What’s Wrong with Hungary?” which were published in The American Interest online in 1012 including a letter from the Hungarian State Secretary for Communication, Zoltán Kovács. The barbaric troll attack was unprecedented and garnered international attention.

  25. Miklos Banfi says:

    …and Chris, you should be flattered, that these cronies are better trained – in English at least, than the Foreingn Affairs professionals, like Szijjártó, Szájer and the other top politicians.

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