Szikra Movement Denounces Orbán Clampdown

Activists of Szikra (“Spark”), a Hungarian green-left movement, are calling for support and solidarity with their struggle against the judicial hate campaign unleashed against them by the Hungarian government and its far-right allies.

In the past years, Budapest has become the site of one of Europe’s largest neo-nazi gatherings; every February, far-right activists gather from all over Europe to commemorate the so-called ‘Day of Honour’. While the event is illegal, it is tacitly approved by the Orbán government, enabling thousands of far-right activists to march through Buda castle. This year, the event was marked by scenes of violence linked to both neo-nazis and – allegedly – anti-fascists as well.

While some members of Szikra (‘Spark’, a Hungarian Green-left movement whose candidate entered parliament in 2022) participated in the legal counter-demonstration, none were involved in any acts of violence; yet a 42-year-old woman active in both Szikra and Budapest-based housing advocacy groups was arrested and held in prison for two weeks in the aftermath of the events. While she was eventually released from prison, the investigation and the accusations against her are ongoing.

Although evidence linking her to the case amounted little more than a Facebook like, her identity was leaked to the media and was used in a violent — often antisemitic — smear campaign against Szirka Movement and its MP András Jámbor. Rather than condemning the far-right, Hungarian state-media, the openly neo-fascist parliamentarian right and affiliated media have coalesced in a further normalisation of extremist discourses and practices.  

During the upcoming weeks, activists of the Szikra Movement will be looking into all possible forms of legal action against the responsible media platforms and politicians for defamation, hate speech and incitement to violence. In parallel, they are organising acts of solidarity, care and legal support for their unjustly accused member. 

Rather than an isolated event, the case points to the erosion of the rule of law in an  EU country, the normalisation of street, judicial and media violence, as well as the entanglement of government, state and far-right ideology. Its targets have been clearly identified: anyone who dares to dissent from the government line — and particularly if it’s from the left.

Despite the threats and the increased likelihood of all forms of violence, the movement will continue to fight for an alternative in Hungary based on solidarity, equality and justice for all. 

How can you support the Szikra movement in its struggle against the Hungarian autocracy?

      ◊ by spreading this Call for Solidarity and the press kit
         (attached on the right/below under Documents) as widely as possible

      ◊ by contributing a donation to help Szikra raise funds for the upcoming
          judicial battles, as well as for their day-to-day work.

*For more information, please find a detailed press kit regarding this case on the right/below (mobile version) under ‘Documents’.

*You can watch a subtitled interview with the defendant’s lawyer here.

*Please also check out Szikra’s recently launched newsletter in English.