Protests against far-right theatre director

Published on 2 February 2012 at 12:33


“Anti-fascist protest disrupted by counter demonstration,” headlines the daily Népszava in the wake of incidents that marked a demonstration involving several thousand people, who gathered in front of the New Theatre in Budapest. The protest was prompted by the appointment of the theatre’s new director, György Dörner, by Budapest City Hall, which finances the institution. Dörner had announced that he would be inspired by the ideas of his mentor, István Csurka: a fiercely anti-Semitic playwright and far-right politician, who, Népszava explains, likes to allude to a Jewish plot against the “Hungarian nation” orchestrated by the “New York-Tel Aviv-Budapest axis.”

Vilmos Hanti, the leader of the Hungarian Federation of Resistance Fighters and Anti-Fascists (MEASZ), who called for the demonstration against Dörner, told the newspaper that “the mayor of Budapest could have withdrawn his decision, but the appointment was in line with the policy favoured by Fidesz, the country’s ruling party” led by Viktor Orbán.

For its part, rival daily Népszabadság describes the scenes outside the theatre as “surreal”: on the one hand there were demonstrators with placards that read “Protest against Arturo Ui!” or “We are part of Europe,” while extreme right counter demonstrators chanted such slogans as “Dirty Jews!” and “Traitors to the homeland!”

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