“This is sticky-fingered Bolshevism”

The siege of the Hungarian Radio in Bródy Sándor Street was a key event on 23 October 1956 and is often referred to as the beginning of the armed conflict. This is where Jobbik Movement for a Better Hungary held its commemoration of 1956. In his opening speech, the moderator, MP Péter Jakab stated that Hungary was “not fair, not safe and not free” and sent a message to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán: “My friend, you despicable, ignoble pocket dictator, there will be a time when you get slapped!”

The next speaker was independent journalist Balázs Gulyás, who professes to be a disillusioned former Fidesz supporter. Mr Gulyás asked the rhetorical question what the freedom fighters of 1956 would say about the fact that there are more ex-Communists in the current Orbán government than there were in that of Gyula Horn (1994-1998), who headed the first Socialist government after the democratization of Hungary. Then former freedom fighter Levente Murányi recalled the days of the revolution and said that even though they were fired upon by tanks in 1956 but they were not lied to the way it is now done by the government and its media. Jobbik’s Vice President János Stummer explained how the memory of the freedom fight is marred by the fact that Hungary is not free and fair today, even though so many people died fighting for these ideals. 

Jobbik’s President Tamás Sneider stated that there were much more Jobbik supporters now than before the elections in April, no matter how hard some individuals are working to dig the party’s grave. “This is sticky-fingered Bolshevism, Viktor Orbán is the world’s greatest thief right in the middle of Europe, and he can keep doing so to this very day,” Mr Sneider said, adding that if the Orbán regime gets no money from the EU, he will turn to someone else willing to fund him, such as Russia, which Orbán considers as a role model. Jobbik’s president urged the opposition parties to boycott the pro-government media, calling on them to stop assisting the propaganda machine. 

Jobbik also announced a resistance movement against the Orbán regime, which involves more activism than the constructive political opposition that the government completely ignored so far. As the first demonstration of a more active resistance, MP Balázs Ander set up a banner at Fidesz’ headquarters, saying “FIDESZ = BOLSHEVISM”. The next step was taken by MP Tamás Pintér who put a padlock on former FIDESZ member and current Chief Prosecutor Péter Polt’s house to symbolize where Mr Polt should be in a country with a rule of law.

Addressing the demonstrators in front of the Radio, Tamás Sneider said the success of the resistance depended on the people. Then some of the protesters, including several MPs, marched over to the centre of the public television. 

Talking to the people gathered around the TV building, Jobbik MP Ádám Mirkóczki declared: “On paper, this building is supposed to be the stronghold of Hungarian public service but in practice it is actually the headquarters of the fake news and lie factory. This institution is controlled from Fidesz’ Lendvay Street office. We came here to protest against this filth. If we really mean to start a resistance movement and a freedom fight against this Bolshevik government, we must begin with an intellectual freedom fight. There are no journalists working in this building. We won’t bear this without a word, so from now on Jobbik’s representatives will not consider the workers here as journalists. We will take up the fight in all fronts so that this building could regain its worthy reputation. You mustn’t watch these TV channels, they are poison! We are fed up with the neo-primitive propaganda disguised as public service,” Jobbik’s politician said.

Tamás Sneider compared today’s events to those of 2006, emphasizing that the only difference was then Prime Minister Gyurcsány’s confession that they were lying day and night. Jobbik’s president repeated that a real opposition politician should not enter the headquarters of the public television. “People are running out of patience. We want to live in freedom and prosperity!” Jobbik’s president concluded his speech at the TV building.

Talking to the demonstrators, Jobbik’s vice president János Stummer said: “Remember this day! You were here when the first nail was driven into the coffin of the System of National Cooperation.” 

Led by Jobbik MPs, some of the demonstrators then walked over to Fidesz’ Lendvay Street office to protest there. The spontaneous demonstration was addressed by Jobbik’s vice president Tibor Bana who noted that the national resistance had some more acts to come while MP Lajos Rig stated that the demonstration could just as well be held in front of any hospital today. He reminded the participants that the police faced a withdrawal of their overtime pay and their healthcare was not secure, either. He was followed by vice president István Szávay who said that Viktor Orbán purposefully refused to hold Ferenc Gyurcsány to account so that the latter could still be presented as a leading opposition figure. The police deployed a large force and tried to check the identities of each and every demonstrator. The participants refused to comply and when the police wanted to forcefully search a college student, several MPs and protesters formed a protective circle around her. The demonstration finished at about 9 p.m., after the police lifted the cordon around the protesters.