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Left and right still divided on the 2006 riots

January 10th, 2024

Responding to a proposal to erect a statue to the victims of police brutality in 2006, a leftwing journalist suggests that police officers wounded by rioters would also deserve a statue in Budapest.

In Népszava, Zoltán Batka describes the events in October 2006 in Budapest as a series of riots of basically fascist character. He admits that ‘there was, of course, police abuse as well’ – and does not fundamentally oppose the original idea of erecting a monument to the rioters. He adds however that there should then also be ‘at least a statue to the police victims of mob violence’, as 399 policemen were also wounded in the clashes. (For the opposing narratives on the 2006 riots, see e.g. BudaPost, November 2, 2015.)

In Magyar Nemzet, Tamás Fricz would welcome the erection of a statue to the victims of police brutality but doubts if the left-wing mayor or council of the 7th district of Budapest, where the monument is proposed will ever consent to the project. On the other hand, he calls it unbearable that those victims should be denied a monument, while former Prime Minister Gyula Horn has a statue in the capital, although in his youth he was a member of the communist militia during the reprisals following the 1956 revolution.


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