26 Jan 2014

Hungarian fascist group Jobbik on the run in London

A Hungarian fascist group has been forced to move a rally in London after the location was surrounded by protesters. Police helped Jobbik supporters move to Hyde Park after fears of violence.

It’s been described as the most powerful openly fascist group in Europe and now it has a foothold in Britain. But supporters of Hungarian political party Jobbik were forced to move to another location after they tried to hold a rally in London’s Holborn, and a signficant number of anti-fascists turned up to protest.

The Jobbik supporters were boxed into the tube station by police officers who tried to separate them from protesters waving signs say “No Nazis, no Golden Dawn, no Jobbik, no BNP”, references to Europe’s main far-right parties. After the rally hit the protest, Jobbik supporters left to regroup in Hyde Park.

The Met police said: “we are helping a group assemble for a lawful protest at an alternative location in order to prevent a breach of the peace.”

Jobbik have done well in Hungary on an explicitly anti-Jewish and anti-Roma ticket – becoming the third biggest political party in Hungary.

Gábor Vona, the leader of the party, has come to London to speak to Hungarian voters living in Britain, ahead of a Hungarian national elections in April 2014. He gave his speech in Hyde Park an hour and a half after the slated original time.

A Channel 4 News report into a Jobbik rally in Budapest last year found a paramilitary-style militia, organised with helmets, gas masks and vitriolic language against Jewish and Roma minorities.

Watch: On the streets with Hungary's far-right

The Jobbik rally, planned for Holborn tube station at 1.30pm, comes one day ahead of National Holocaust Remembrance Day – timing seen as provocative by anti-racist groups.

‘No place in modern society’

The counter protest against Jobbik was led by the group Unite Against Fascism (UAF).

“Jobbik’s fascist hatred has no place in a modern society here, or in the rest of Europe,” UAF official, Sabby Dhalu, said.

“Wherever fascists have a presence, racist, anti-semitic and Islamophobic attacks increase. We call on all democrats to reject Jobbik this Sunday.”

One London Assembly member says that Mr Vona should have been banned from holding the event – Andrew Dismore wrote to Home Secretary Theresa May demanding that the event be cancelled.

Mr Dismore called Jobbik “the most powerful outwardly fascist political party in Europe”.

‘Forum for Hungarians’

Mr Vona has denied claims he is meeting members of Greece’s Golden Dawn party and the BNP today. His spokeswoman said that the rally is a matter for Hungarians only.

She said: “This is a forum for Hungarian citizens. This is not to do with anyone else.

“There are lots of Hungarians living in London and the election is coming up in Hungary.”


Channel 4 News spoke to two people at the counter protest at Holborn station to ask why they were protesting against Jobbik.

“They are unfortunately successful in Hungary. It’s not really racism, but it is scapegoating – they say the problems that are caused by the system are the fault of the Jews, or the gypsies. When the economy is bad, this policy of scapegoating is successful.”

– Hungarian man, lived in London for 5 years.

“This is the same as what we saw in the ’30s, we can’t let that happen now, anywhere in Europe. I’m from London, I’m Jewish. We can’t let it happen again.”

– London woman.