Following the disruption of Saturdays’ Gay Pride March, Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány has called for a rally to be held on September 6th to protest extremist sentiments in Hungary. The prime minister has called for a meeting between Hungarian leaders to examine why a few hundred people can terrorize the majority, and to look into what legal means can be used to oppose them.
According to the prime minister, the far-right agitators falsely call upon patriotism, take Hungarian symbols away from the masses, and infringe upon freedom, an MTI piece at fn.hu reports. Gyurcsány continued that what happened on Saturday has been going on for years, that extremists disrupt people’s right to self expression.
The prime minister stated that he has had enough, and if things continue as they do, people will be afraid to go out into the streets. He added that this is not a police, gay, Jewish or Gypsy cause, but one for everyone.
On Sunday, Gyurcsány met with the chief prosecutor and minister of justice, who said that by Thursday they’ll have a report on how the government authorities did their jobs, and will only assess the situation after that. In regards to the Magyar Charta he proposed, the prime minister stated it would not be a left or right thing, but an organization to represent the millions tired of the few thousand extremists causing problems.
In reaction to Saturday’s events, Fidesz parliamentary faction leader Tibor Navracsics denounced hatemongering and violence in every form, and then added that due to the incapacity of the minority government the police weren’t in a position to guarantee the peace.
Zoltán Hock of the Democratic Forum stated that they were deeply upset by Saturday’s disturbances and that violence cannot be justified, before adding that the police should be allowed to do their job without politics coming into it.
Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky stated that over a million forints worth of damage was caused by the protestors, but even more damage was done to Hungary’s image in the world. While in other cities Gay Pride events go off without a hitch, in Budapest they result in images of violence.
Gergely Bárándy of the Socialist party stated that in September he’ll initiate five party talks on modifying the right to assembly, and that his party still supports banning hate speech.
On Saturday, the Socialists and Free Democrats announced their solidarity with those who were attacked, and Ildikó Lendvai, Socialist parliamentary faction leader stated that the same people who participate in far-right demonstrations were the ones who attacked the march.
Gábor Fodor, Free Democrat party chairman called Saturday’s attacks the disgrace of the nation, and said democracies must always protect the rights of minorities.