Day Of Dishonor

If you want to see just how bad things could have been in America if Trump had been re-elected to a second term in office, look no further than Hungary, which has had fascist Viktor Orban as its prime minister for the last twelve years. In that time, Orban has sabotaged the democratic process there to the point that democracy watchdogs now refer to the EU country as an autocracy. He’s described migrants as “terrorists,” “a poison,” and “Muslim invaders.” and then sent troops to the borders to stop a single Syrian refugee from claiming asylum. He’s used anti-semitic propaganda from nazi Germany to promote wild conspiracy theories about a secret cabal of wealthy Jews like George Soros plotting to replace Europeans with Muslim migrants by paying them to become refugees and seek shelter in European countries. He’s shut down radio stations critical of his reign and turned over their broadcasting rights to his cronies and passed laws allowing for prison sentences for journalists his regime accuses of spreading “disinformation.” And of course he is BFFs with the authoritarians in power in Russia and China. The judiciary, the press, the education system – all are under his complete control, as he works to dismantle human rights for marginalized groups.

This is the context that makes Orban’s Hungary a beacon of fascism, attracting other fascist insects like Tucker Carlson. It also draws neo-nazis from all parts of Europe, who make an annual pilgrimage to take part in the so-called “Day of Honor” march in Budapest commemorating nazi war criminals. Fortunately, Hungary still has anti-fascists who are not afraid to confront the march each year and shut it down, but at this year’s march, the Budapest police used the full force of the state to oppress the anti-fascists, kettling 150 of them and arresting four. The police then leaked mugshots, names, and addresses of the arrestees to the media, leading to manhunts and death threats from Hungarian fascists. Now both Hungarian and German police are collaborating to identify as many anti-fascists from both countries as possible, while Orban and his media cronies fuel a debate about banning anti-fascist groups altogether.

Right now, our main concern is with the arrestees, so we have answered Rote Hilfe Berlin’s call for donations and recommend you do the same. Fighting hatred is never a crime. Anti-fascism is always self-defence. Solidarity is our weapon.

Insult To Injury

It’s bad enough for the German state to lock up Jo & Dy – two anti-fascists who did what the state refused to do and took necessary action to protect their community from organized mobs of fascists. But not while they sit in prison, Jo and Dy now have a 140,000€ civil judgement against them to look forward to paying off when they are released.

You might recognize those two names because we helped to pay for their legal team when they first went on trial in 2021. Unfortunately, this is another case where, thanks to the civil indemnity judgement against them, support must continue well beyond that.

This decision by the Defence Fund was not without controversy. The Decisions Crew – the body of over 600 anti-fascists tasked with making all decisions related to the Defence Fund – had a vigorous discussion about the implications of helping to pay a court-ordered amount of money that would ultimately be going to the fascist “victims.” But, as Jo and Dy’s support team puts it, “not only the high prison sentences, but also the high costs are an aspect of state repression and represent a high burden for the two accused and their families. As an anti-fascist movement, we must also face this type of repression together and in solidarity. Even if the two anti-fascists have to go to jail on our behalf as a movement, we can at least relieve them of the costs.” In the end, we agreed with this and have sent money to help pay some of that crippling judgement down.