The government’s anti-immigration billboard campaign made big waves instantly after its launching, as two political organizations announced that they will not tolerate its allegedly xenophobic message, while several private persons damaged the billboards in acts of civil disobedience, nol.hu reports. Meanwhile, the satirical Two-Tailed Dog Party is preparing to start their own billboard campaign with messages lampooning the government’s.
The government’s billboards – with captions like “If you come to Hungary you mustn’t take away the work of Hungarians!,” and costing HUF 300 million – began to appear on Friday, and several were torn down or painted over by Saturday. A “30-to-40-year old middle-class man from Budapest” who painted over the billboard near the Dagály swimming pool was interviewed anonymously by the Kettős Mérce blog. The blog also reported that a young man and a woman tore down a billboard at the Ferdinánd Bridge near the Nyugati Railway Station and subsequently reported their act to the local police.
Two political organizations officially announced that they will support defacing or removal of the billboards. The Európai Baloldal (European Left) offered a bounty of HUF 2,000 to anyone who could verify with a photograph that he or she made a billboard illegible, while the Együtt party stated that their activists will tear off the “outrageous and cynical” government advertisements. Six activists of Együtt were arrested on Saturday night after they tore off a billboard at the City Park, which also revealed that the police was ordered to keep an eye on the advertisements.
On Monday the satirical Two-Tailed Dog Party (MKKP) announced that they are going to launch their own information campaign together with the Vastagbőr (Thick Skin) blog in order to let their own views known by the public on the refugee issue. As they write “we find it very disturbing that in Hungary, where the almost total lack of social solidarity is a way bigger problem than immigration, the government spends our own money to make us hate each other more.” The MKKP and Vastagbőr are planning to buy fifty billboards for one month for the price of three million forints – possibly including one like the rendering above – and have started a fundraising campaign to be able to do so.