The Budapest chapter of MigSzol, a group providing aid for refugees arriving in Hungary, held a demonstration Tuesday in Budapest to protest against the new restrictive laws against refugees and the government’s plans to build a border fence along Hungary’s border with Serbia.
Speakers at the event urged Hungarians to realize that “refugees” are not “economic migrants” and the government’s border fence will not solve any problems.
The protest began in Budapest District 5 in the square in front of Saint Stephen’s Basilica. Attendees then continued their demonstration in parliament’s Kossuth Square where they demolished a small symbolic fence.
Edit Gyantár, an ethnic Hungarian from Serbia who represents numerous Serbian NGOs, called the government’s efforts to stigmatize refugees hypocritical and said the border fence would only remind Hungarians of their own misery.
Júlia Iván of the Hungarian Helsinki Committee said that recently adopted restrictive changes to Hungary’s refugee laws have effectively “written Hungary off from the rest of civilized Europe”. She accused the government of extreme cynicism for referring to people fleeing war-zones as “economic migrants”.
Aziz Pfalz of homeless advocacy group City Belongs to Everyone called the government’s border fence a “big wall” that is the shame of Europe.
Márk Kékesi of the Szeged-based MigSzol group said the border fence is not capable of keeping refugees out of the country because they will just go around it. He said the fence is more of a propaganda tool to bolster support for Fidesz.
Speaking on behalf of MigSzol, Amy Rodgers said Hungary needs the kind of government that looks at its problems with open eyes and works together with the refugees and the rest of Hungary’s citizens to find a solution. She called for more refugee camps to be built. Hungary, she said, does not need another Iron Curtain.
At the end of the protest, organizers announced that activists have erected a makeshift fence outside the Hungarian Embassy in London out of “solidarity”.
Referenced in this article: