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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, July 18 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 29
Neo-Nazis fail to disrupt Budapest Pride
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Neo-Nazis fail to disrupt Budapest Pride

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Budapest Pride went off without a hitch July 12, despite efforts by a neo-Nazi party to disrupt the event. Organizers said more than 10,000 people took part in a march through the Hungarian capital.

The embassies of Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US signed a group statement of support for the event.

However, the Jobbik Party - an anti-Semitic, anti-Roma, anti-Gay neo-Nazi group - condemned the march as a 'provocation to the majority,' and 'perverted.' Jobbik spokesperson Ádám Mirkóczki said it was 'appalling' that some foreign embassies helped sponsor the event.

One Jobbik Party official, Mihály Zoltán Orosz, tried to join the Pride march with a contingent of 30-some 'family values' demonstrators holding signs covered with biblical verses. He was prevented from entering the march by police.

Another Jobbik official, member of the Hungarian parliament Elod Novák, hung a banner from a window in the parliament building reading 'This house does not want your deviant propaganda.'

As the Pride march entered Heroes' Square in the center of Budapest, some counter-protesters broke through a cordon to attack the marchers, but they were quickly beaten back by police and the march concluded successfully.

Jobbik was founded as a right-wing youth group in 2002 and became a political party in 2003. In 2007, Jobbik members founded the paramilitary Hungarian Guard as a so-called 'self-defense' association, but the Guard was dissolved by Court order two years later because of its attacks on minority communities.

In April 2012, Jobbik introduced a bill in the Hungarian parliament that would have amended the national constitution to 'protect public morals and the mental health of the young generations' by banning the popularization of 'sexual deviancy' very much like similar legislation in Russia. The measure did not pass.

In the April 2014 parliamentary elections, Jobbik won more than 20% of the vote, becoming Hungary's third-largest political party.

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