Hungary: Barikád Kollektíva Analysis of the Current Situation

An analysis by the Hungarian Barikád Kollektíva (Barricade Collective) on the recent events in Hungary following prime minister Gurcsány's admissions of lying and the subsequent riots.


The left-wing-liberal bourgeoisie have continued the chess game with a wrong move. The prime minister's confession, made in May at a meeting of the MSZP faction (Hungarian Socialist Party) was published, in which he announced that his party had won the elections through lies and that it was time they engaged in frank and fully responsible politics. Previously they had communicated much better data about the Hungarian economics than the real situation was. In our previous text entitled Spend your blood! we described the "new" exploiting measures of the government. Some of them have already become operative, others will be implemented in the near future. But we have to clarify why the social democrat-liberal bloc is being forced to take these steps.

The Gurcsány government had wanted to delude us that their economic policy was sustainable while they had been opposed to the general capitalist trend. In recent years they had increased wages, given an extra month's old-age pension per year, made the living wage tax-free, subsidised enterprises (for example the BKV-Budapest Transport Company and MÁV-Hungarian State Railway ... we have to go work somehow after all!) which were operating with deficits. The government had been playing at being a welfare state whereas, due to the pressure of international movements of capital, they should have been taking the opposite measures. The national deficit is estimated at over 20,000 billion forints, which is 60% of the Hungarian GDP. The budget deficit is more than 10% of the Hungarian GDP and in this way the bourgeoisie in Hungary cannot join the Euro-zone nor get financial support from the EU. The MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party) wanted to win the elections and seemingly wanted to answer to the working class too, and thus they ran into debt. So-called "welfare functions" add up to 60% of the budget and the state operational expenses add up to 12%. But till the elections they were croaking that the level of the budget deficit was acceptable.

Then the "penitent" confession arrived like a bolt from the blue. The government has to implement restrictions in order to find more money, so they have to explain to the working class why they are going to rot our lives. The right-wing opposition, which flirts directly with the fascists, had based its strategy on the economic data provided by the government and had promised Canaan. So they lied just as their social democrat counterpart. We do not moralize on the dirty practices of the bourgeoisie, because we think that falsification, lies and manipulation are basic instruments of the ruling class, requirements of bourgeois class terror. The bourgeoisie, however, were taken short by the reaction of the mass, because they believed the mass to be totally acclimatized to the bipolar political régime. It is evident that this is only a half-truth, so their consciousness-industry is not effective enough. We can see that neither the government nor the opposition expected that the wave of discontent would in part sweep over them. In recent decades, the bourgeoisie and its organizations had become very confident, their dirty democracy had cradled the working class and had outlawed social struggle, direct conflicts with the power from the streets. They had considered the working class in Hungary to be totally idiot and had presumed that the exploited would accept all the lies that were told in their fancy house, the parliament.

The democrats of the oppostion seemingly condemn the bloody events in the streets, but in secret they back the revolters, who are usually fired up by fascist organizations like Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom (Movement for Right Hungary), 64 Vármegye Ifjúsági Mozgalom (64 Hundreds Youth Movement). On the other hand, they got frightened because they lost control over the right-wing mass and the result led to struggles between the fascists and the state. The voice of the real class struggle is dampened by the nostalgic nationalism of the Székely-hymn and for the present the outlet of exploitation is dissolving into pseudo-revolutionary nationalist comedy. Fascism is using those members of the working class who are demanding an immediate change of régime/power to lengthen the counter-revolutionary period. Pseudo-Mussolinis are roaring their speeches. The people don't reject them but neither do they identify themselves totally with these spokesmen. Thousands of people demonstrated, but there were serious street fights with the police only on Monday and Tuesday. By now, only the reformist demands of the trade unions, the democratic demonstrations of the student self-government and the actual nationalist-fascist events answered the present situation - while the exploited people are in the streets after all. On the other hand it is conspicuous that there are no social demands, protest voices at all, thus the conflict deflects from direct exploitation and only focuses on the clash between the government and the opposition. The demonstrators have declared that they would use roadblocks and civil disobedience to exert an influence on the government.

Parts of Ferenc Gyurcsány's cretinous, "penitent", but denunciative confession was published on 17th September. Later the whole speech was published. On that day the mass started to demonstrate in front of the parliament with their national clouts and were shouting slogans referring to the speech of the prostitute of capital with some changes: "You fucked up! You fucked up!". Then they demanded the resignation of the government: "Gyurcsány go!". There were other demands, too: "Change of régime!", "Resign!", "Down with the Trianon peace treaty!". Some people from the mass went to the offices of the state television and wanted to advertise their demands. The mass, directed by boneheads (fascist skinheads), laid siege to the building. Various groups of football hooligans, who are usually irreconcilable enemies, united their strength. They inveighed against Jews and most of the people shouted together: "Down with the Trianon peace treaty!", "Down with the Trianon peace treaty!". The singing of the national anthem, nationalist slogans from the 1956 revolution and national flags marked these events. There were a lot of Hungarist flags with the colours of the House of Árpád (the crest of the first Hungarian dynasty, later used by Hungarian nazis in the time of World War II). Nearby, demonstrators damaged the Soviet memorial too. They were not monolithic, because some of them observed that it should not be done. The police were totally unprepared, standing blankly and trying to defend the offices of the state television, but they were not able to arrest the fuglemen. They were not so full-mouthed as usually, because they were not superior in numbers.

If there were pure class struggle in the streets, the fascists would fight united with the police against us! It's a civil war in the literal sense of the word. The voice of class struggle is dampened, while one stratum of the working class is striking and propping up the walls of alienation. The nationalism of self-confining mixes the fascist with the right-wing mass who could recognize the manipulation of the bourgeoisie and would become conscious of their proletarian existence. Now they only maintain capitalism, because they are taken in by politics and media manipulation and they take the nationalist myths as a basis instead of their injured life. They still believe in the opposition, which only wants to govern and exploit us just as the social democrats do. They can achieve it only by the legal voting of the mass. Nevertheless, the first three floors of the television offices were looted. Not only by fascists, but by homeless people, old ladies, students, punks, Roma. They whacked up the loot taken from the smashed buffet, cigarettes, coolers became free of charge. The looting was done mostly by the poor, since it's the tradition of the proletariat, not of the counter-revolution. The spirit of the revolution shot through the nationalist night in this way at least. Several policemen were injured but finally things settled down again.

The next day, Tuesday, the revolters, led by fascist groups, attacked police at Blaha Lujza square. One of their targets was the office of the MSZP (Hungarian Socialist Party). Their slogans were: "Traitors!", "Ry-Ry, Hungary!". The police were more alert; there were a lot of riot squads ready for action. They started to arrest the revolters using TV recordings and photos. The police atrocities were increasing; they attacked passive bystanders if they were bored. Meanwhile the student demonstration against the university tuition and the electoral gathering of the party in opposition, Fidesz (Alliance of Young Democrats), were postponed. By day hundreds of people, but at night thousands of people have been demonstrating against the government. They are demanding conventional assembly and new elections. There are demonstrations in the country towns, too, for example in Szeged, Miskolc, Debrecen, Szombathely, Gyor, Zalaegerszeg. On Wednesday there were fewer revolters in the streets and the police were in superior numbers. Around 150 revolters were arrested, and 500 people are still being looked for. There have been several injuries, 138 of whom are policemen.

The politicians and the media are continue to manipulate when they state that "anarchist ragbags" are rampaging through the streets. The fascists, their own bourgeoisie behind them, have come alive. They are spreading illusions about 1956 because they want to expropriate the heritage of the communist revolution in order to make it out as a nationalist event. They are shouting their slogans with this in view. The right-wing politician and the "heaven-born peoples" are hoping together for the promising future of the nation while the government and the opposition continue with their electoral campaign. The situation has livened up, there remains no more but to awaken the proletariat during the "nights of the long knives"...

Barikád Kollektíva
(Barricade Collective)
September 2006


Anti-Government Riots Break Out in Budapest

Clashes have broken out in Budapest after the ‘Socialist’ Hungarian Prime Minister broke convention and admitted lying to get elected. Thousands of mostly young protesters filled the streets to demand Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany’s resignation, after a tape was leaked in which he admitted he "lied morning, noon and night" to get elected. A government minister confessed "the people are angry at a political leader who, for the first time, is telling the truth: that the whole political class was lying."

The trouble began when riot police prevented demonstrators from handing in a petition at the state television building, causing protesters to storm, loot and set fire to the building, in a catalyst reminiscent of the clashes at the Budapest radio station in the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. One protester said "tomorrow, twice as many people will come ... Nothing like this has happened since 1956." There are reports of 50 protesters injured amongst the tear gas and water cannon. A number of smaller protests also took place across the country.

There were many national flags on display amongst the demonstrators, and a memorial to ‘liberating’ Soviet troops in WWII was vandalised. Despite the comparisons to the ‘56 revolution and the chanting of ‘56!, 56!’ in the streets, the media are keen to portray those in the streets as right wing for their opposition to the ‘Socialist’ government, attacks on pro-Soviet monuments and the presence of national flags. Reuters reports that “at least some of the protesters [among 10,000] … were from fringe right-wing parties.” They quoted a member of a far-right group (too small to show up any information in a Google search) saying the protests were nationalist and against “foreign capital”, which seems out of keeping with the general anti-government mood in the streets. Politicians are talking about “an unprecedented crisis in Hungarian democracy” in the face of the first major street clashes since the collapse of the old Communist regime in 1989. The Prime Minister was quoted saying “the street is not a solution, but instead causes conflict and crisis”. As ‘politics’ overspills its proper place contained in the walls of parliament, the question is now whether the protests will grow and further dwarf the far-right elements, or simply continue as they are and act as an extra-parliamentary support for the main centre-right opposition party.

UPDATE: The Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany has vowed to use police to crack down on protests as a small crowd begins to gather outside parliament demanding his resignation. The Hungarian National Security Cabinet met on Tuesday morning (19/09/06) to discuss the situation and the chief of police has offered to resign over the violence, which left 150 people injured on Monday night. 102 of the injured were police, who were attacked with cobblestones and bottles. Gyurcsany, a former fast-rising Communist official, is reported to be one of Hungary's richest men after he moved from being a state bureaucrat to a private capitalist in 1989. His brand of 'socialism' is said to be modelled on Tony Blair.



eyewitness report from Indymedia


- Introducing the smallest revolution of Hungary -

The shit hit the fan in Hungary on the last weekend.
(Background info)

A half hour recording of ex-regime member turned businessman turned democratic politician Ferenc Gyurcsany, PM of Hungary, was "leaked" to dozens of news media companies on Saturday in a highly organised manner. It was a party-members-only conference speech by him about using lies for governing- and election-policy years and years on end. Local economy is on the edge, harsh tax raises and cancelling several social benefit programs were just announced during the last few months, so public tension was already high. -Parts of the "leaked" confidential speech blew the fuse for many folks, and peaceful protests started at the Parliament on Sunday afternoon by a few hundred people.

Sleeping Anger

On this Monday, the protests continued, and the number of protesters multiplied by early evening into the 10'000+. I was surprised to see the majority of participants were apparently not socially disadvantaged poor folks who are most critically impacted by current economical restrictions, but middle-class people from middle-class families like me, predominantly in their 20s to 40s. There was pretty high agitation as well as anger -- when we were not shouting slogans or listening to various self-made spokesmen on a made-shift loudspeaker system, most of us were freely talking with people we met for the first time. Just as I expected, I found out that the majority of us were those who voted NOT for the current governing coalition, but there were also a smaller number of their voters present, those who turned really bitter and pissed about laying their trust into them. As could be expected, oddballs, radicals and extremists appeared as well, I estimate less than 500 in total for the radical/extreme right folks, that including the soccer hooligans.

Sometimes after 22:00 we heard a lot of shouting that there was something heavy happening at the main public broadcast TV building, that used to be the state-owned regime TV station in the old days. The TV building is a historically prominent place because of its key role during the 1956 Revolution -- the '56 revolution exploded with the people taking over this state-owned TV and starting their broadcasts to mobilise the rest of the country.

[It was only made clear to me later that initially two right radicalist leaders were entering the TV, and tried to get their political petition broadcast -- demanding the governing coalition to disband. They were refused, and the company security personnel _illegally_ tried to arrest /capture both of them -- here only the police can do valid arrests. One guy barely escaped the building and then things rapidly escalated as the hardcore right radicalists including a few dozen very well known soccer hooligans tried to enter the building by force, the security guys called the police, some police force managed to enter the building from the other side, then secu+police barricaded the enterance and used tear gas and the firehoses to keep crazed rioters away. It was then that some of these guys came back to the parliament and called us to the TV building -we were too prompt to go there because of the place's historical significance of exploding the 1956 Revolution]

On arriving there, I found riot police and an armoured vehicle with water cannon trying to disperse the rioters and protesters.

I can fairly say that police's reaction was PROVOCATIVE, as they started to use tear gas against all of us indiscriminately -- against the apparently non-agressive and separated protesters as well as against obviously extremist elements attacking the enterance of the building.

TV building

Shortly after I arrived there and got tear gased, came the riot police assault. We were angry about the shameless shit the .gov was doing for years, especially now that the "leaked" record had so many extra details on it, sprinkled with the worst bloody outrageous style and slandering on the country by the PM. We were some 5000 or so by now, and the police was really pouring down tear gas and water cannon on us. There were also, I estimate, 500-600 riot police in protective gear and plastic shields to disperse us. Were we in an asphalt-paved area of the city, they would have succeeded!

But the square in front of the TV building had these 6cm*6cm granite cubes covering most of the ground, for some decorative paving...
We were so angry, and they came so handy.

Came the assault, we withdrew for 5 seconds or so, then we started harvesting the stones and salvoing the riot police, breaking up their formation and pushing them afar!
Then again!
Then again!!!
-I think we defeated 3 assault waves by salvoing them with the cobblestones. That is incredible, I feel PROUD about it!
I am also proud about many of us helping and picking up injured riot police, and transporting them back to their squadrons. We are not animals.

As a fundamental cornerstone of Democracy, every country shall have these handy cobblestones covering public areas around government buildings, news media institutions and business districts.

The Water Cannon

Riot police had this idea of penetrating the protesters with a wedge lead by an armoured mobile water cannon with about 600 riot police covering behind it, then disperse us from the square.

There were just a few CRUCIAL mistakes made here.
1./ They were entering a wide open area with an armoured vehicle leading in front as a shield to riot police infantry -- it was of no use for cover, as we could easily outmaneuver it.
2./ The water cannon was just heading straight into the middle of the protesters across a large square with areas of bare ground -- they were so busy shooting the water cannon forward that the patches of bare ground turned into deep mud and trapped the heavy armoured thing as it tried to cross it.
3./ The water cannon had an integrated tear gas self-defence mechanism -- it ran out some half an hour after we flanked the tailing riot police and CHASED THEM AWAY with massive salvoes of mentioned 6cm*6cm granite cobblestones, then surrounding the stuck vehicle.

When it was finally out of tear gas, we DEMOLISHED the vehicle, removed the driver/turret operator guys and quickly lead them back to their squadron in safety because some crazy people wanted lynching them.

Then the water cannon was literally taken apart for souvenirs, I have seen people taking parts of dashboard and various bits and pieces home for relics.

TV building pt.2

The total of 120-150? radical/extreme right rioters finally defeated the 30+ police+security force holding the barricade with firehoses and tear gas -- the barricade was raised from heavy doors torn off inside the building and even from the security gate with metal detector and other solid materials the people inside had at hand.

When the barricade was torn down, I only seen a small part of the radicals/extremists actually entering, they rather stayed outside for some reason. But it was several hundreds of us, protesters entering - inside, I was just staying at the lobby for a look-around but did not go up the stairs to the offices/studios.

From my experience while I was there, and from two other accounts, we did not notice any systematic destroying from other protesters, so I was surprised by later claims today that "several offices were burned down and others destroyed"??? Soon we left, only a few dozen people stayed inside the building and out in the square, it was almost 3 in the morning after all...

Echoes of '56

In 1956, our Revolution for independence from the Soviet rule bloomed with the people forcibly entering the State TV building, just like now.

-In fact, the characteristic flag of the '56 Revolution -- the Hungarian flag with a torn hole in the middle -- was heavily featured in this event.

You can find a bunch of pictures here about the happenings, pulled from various sources.

A news item in english at about the same event:


WHAT A SURPRISE, our government and affiliated media accuses "the extremists" for everything yet again -- anything out of their direct personal and financial interest is extremism after all, isn't it?

We are on the streets again tonight, and will keep up until something changes about local politics.

Expect the sequel to REVOLUTION 4k tomorrow.

-Please, feel welcomed to join the party, new releases every day until we hack or crack the system!

Personal account: thecoderguy
English translation: thedesignerguy

* * *


Briefly about tonight's event.

Sunday, when it started, it was 150+ people.

Monday 10'000+, almost half moving over to the TV building and clashing with the riot police.

Tuesday night it is maybe 80'000 or more people peacefully protesting at the parliament, with 50-60 other cities keeping solidarity protests with a few thousand people per city. There is only some thousand police here at the parliament, and they look like pretty scared and worried.

I just got home, but I will be back there Wednesday evening.


Ten Point Petition by the September18 Anarchist Group

"In the Republic of Hungary, all power is held by the People"
(quote from our constitution)

The revolutionary 10 points.

Let there be peace, liberty and unity.

1./ Disband parliament! Autonomy instead of Authority!
2./ [let there be a]Contributive democracy!
3./ Bring our troops back [from abroad], and send home all foreign troops! [let there be]Peace!
4./ [let there be]Liberal, independent and contributive media!
5./ Equal taxes, equal social services! Stop the rule of capital and multinational companies!
6./ Local agriculture, without GM technology!
7./ Open up uninhabited buildings [for all]! [let there be]Community places and homes for people!
8./ Autonomy for the Universities!
9./ Civil and social services shall not serve capitalistic interests!
10./ Solidaristic society instead of dependence on social services!

(September 18th group)

'56 [revolution] every day!


National television under siege in Hungary
kedd, 2006. szeptember 19. lajos

report from Hungary Indymedia

Angry demonstrators occupied the state television headquarters on Liberty Square in the heart of Budapest, Hungary. The people had been gathering at Kossuth square (in front of the parliament, pretty near to Liberty square) since Sunday evening, with the strong will to send away the government. Before that on the same day a record was leaked with a speech from Gyurcsány Ferenc, the prime minister. The tape was recorded during a closed meeting of the ruling socialist parties fraction in may, after they have won the elections.

There is not much choice. There is not, because we fucked up. Not a little, a lot. No European country has done something as boneheaded as we have. Evidently, we lied throughout the last year-and-a-half, two years. It was totally clear that what we are saying is not true. You cannot quote any significant government measure we can be proud of, other than at the end we managed to bring the government back from the brink. Nothing. If we have to give account to the country about what we did for four years, then what do we say?” Gyurcsány Ferenc, prime minister „Content wise the yesterday leaked tape wasn’t a big news.” Sólyom László, president of state „In campaign season one could organize political gatherings without asking permission from the police. So as the police deems the demonstration is not illegal, told Gergényi Péter the head of the Budapest Police to one of the mainstream online portals.”

The rioters burnt cars at the building of the TV, they also attacked water canons, after the fight one canon was demolished and the police officers run away – they came back after two a.m. A few police officers were disarmed while the spokesman of the police told that 5000 riot police could arrive in every minute. The rumor with the arriving riot police was spreading quite fast – so that people quickly dispersed. After some hours riot cops truly appeared on site and people had to run for real.

Inside the building of the TV the people were looting chocolate automats, they were demolishing the interior, some people took out computers; and on the top of the barricade in the entrance of the building there was an empty shopping cart.

The protesters represented mixed political convictions. Many nationalists, football hooligans mixed with the crowd, on Kossuth Square it was mostly right wing, but when we were at the television, the normal non-fascist workers and ghetto kids were kicking one of the cars of the television, while lovers photographed themselves on the top of the burnt-out water cannon... around a smoking car some happy anarchists (the September Eighteenth) distributed leaflets.

By 5 o'clock in the morning, the police pushed out the few protesters who reamined in the building, and began investigating the scene on Liberty Square. Tonight people have switched off the television and took the street. The siege of the TV. The siege of the Spectacle.


150 injured as Hungarians riot over PM's lies

Gutted cars, shattered glass and smashed paving stones littered Budapest's Freedom Square today after protesters stormed the headquarters of Hungarian state television to demand the resignation of the prime minister.

Hundreds of people, most of them young men, burst though police lines to attack the station, having broken away from a much larger, peaceful demonstration against the country's Socialist leader Ferenc Gyurcsany, who admitted to lying to the nation about the state of the economy to retain power.

The rightwing Fidesz opposition party said it would boycott parliament today and added its voice to demands for Mr Gyurcsany to resign, while analysts said they believed the media-savvy prime minister may have sanctioned the leaking of the tape himself in order to demonstrate his determination to push through unpalatable reforms.

Mr Gyurcsany, who emerged from the communist youth movement to become one of Hungary's richest men during the privatisations of the 1990s, denounced the violence.

"The street is not a solution, but instead causes conflict and crisis," he said today. "Our job is to resolve the conflict and prevent a crisis."

However, he rejected the calls to step down.

"I had spent three minutes on Sunday night thinking about whether I should step down or whether I had a reason to step down, and the conclusion I came to is that absolutely not," Mr Gyurcsany, 44, told Reuters.

About 150 people were injured in Hungary's worst violence since the fall of communism, as police used tear gas and water cannon to disperse the demonstrators. Despite this dozens managed to break into the television station.

Broadcasting officials said that offices and studios were ransacked before police finally broke the crowd up, leaving emergency workers to douse several blazing cars and clear up the square.

Mr Gyurcsany was caught on tape telling party colleagues that the government had lied to the public and made countless mistakes during its first term in office.

On a leaked recording of a party meeting in May, a month after his government won a second term in office, Mr Gyurcsany said only "divine providence, an abundance of cash in the world economy and hundreds of tricks" had kept Hungary's economy afloat as it laboured under the largest per-capita deficit in the European Union.

"We lied in the morning, and we lied in the evening," he told the meeting in a 25-minute speech that was peppered with obscenities and in which he said the government's failure to overhaul the economy had made painful reforms inevitable.

"There is not much choice, because we screwed up. Not a little, a lot. No European country has done something as bone-headed as we have," he said. "Evidently, we lied throughout the last year and a half, two years.

"You can't show me any significant government measure that we can be proud of, other than, in the end, we managed to drag the government back from the brink."

Mr Gyurcsany took control of the Socialists in 2004, when polls showed them trailing far behind Fidesz. He reversed the slide in popularity to make his government the first to win re-election since the end of communism in 1989. However he admitted that to secure a second term he obscured the real size of the budget deficit and backed imprudent tax cuts.

The government now hopes to limit the 2006 budget deficit to 10.1% of GDP rather than its pre-election target of 4.7%, and has announced major spending and employment cuts - as well as higher taxes and direct fees for health services and university tuition - that are deeply unpopular.

Such is Mr Gyurcsany's reputation as a slick media operator that many analysts believe he may have sanctioned the leaking of the tape in order to demonstrate his determination to push through unpalatable reforms and clean up politics.

"The real issue in Hungarian politics today is not who lied and when, but who is able to put an end to this, who can face up to the lies and half-truths of the past 16 years," Mr Gyurcsany wrote on his blog (Hungarian), alongside a transcript of his May party address.

"The lies are the sins of the whole Hungarian political elite," he added, insisting that he was proud of his "passionate speech".

But Fidesz and other opposition parties are adamant he should step down. "This is an unprecedented crisis in the history of Hungarian democracy and Ferenc Gyurcsany is not part of the solution but the problem," said a senior Fidesz member, Tibor Navracsics. "He is now persona non grata in Hungarian politics."

Fidesz has vowed to boycott parliament today and looks set to prosper in next month's local elections, to be held just before the 50th anniversary of Hungary's October 1956 uprising against communist rule.

Last night's protests carried an echo of the 1956 revolt, during which students besieged the main radio station in Budapest to demand their grievances be read out on air.

Some of the protesters last night chanted nationalist slogans and waved flags with red and white "Arpad stripes", a centuries-old Hungarian symbol named after the founder of the country's first royal dynasty. Rioters also vandalised a large obelisk commemorating Soviet soldiers who were killed driving Nazi forces from Hungary at the end of the second world war.

from The Guardian Unlimited


BACKGROUND: Economic woes fan Hungarian riot fires (BBC News)