By New Worker
HUNDREDS of anti-fascists turned out in the cold and rain last Saturday outside Holborn Tube Station in London to protest at the visit to Britain of Gabor Vona, leader of the racist and fascist Jobbik party in Hungary.
He had come, he claimed, to address Jobbik supporters among the Hungarian expat community in London, as part of his election campaign. But there were rumours that meeting members of the fascist British National Party and the Greek Golden Dawn might also be on his agenda.
Jobbik is accused of promoting strong anti-Semitic views and fuelling hatred against Jewish and Roma communities. It has been described as the most powerful openly fascist group in Europe.
Jobbik have done well in Hungary on an explicitly anti-Jewish and anti-Roma ticket – becoming the third biggest political party in Hungary.
A Channel Four 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.
Neither police nor anti-fascists knew the venue for Vona’s meeting but it did not take long before people wearing T-shirts with fascistic slogans and carrying flags with Hungarian nationalist insignia started to turn up around the Tube station.
The anti-fascists reacted noisily and soon around 50 Jobbik supporters became trapped inside the station, heavily guarded by police, as anti-fascists blocked the station exits.
Among the crowd were a number of Hungarian anti-fascists who had come to tell Vona to “Takarodj” (clear off!) from London.
Labour London Assembly Member Andrew Dismore told the anti-fascist rally of the real nature of Jobbik and of efforts to get Vonar’s visit banned.
And Weyman Bennett, joint leader of Unite Against Fascism, spoke at the outrage felt by many that a person such as Vonar should be allowed to organise a rally on the eve of Holocaust Memorial Day.
There was a long stand-off as other Jobbik supporters turned up on the opposite side of High Holborn to see what was delaying their colleagues.
The Jobbik organisers first had to delay the start of their meeting and then the hotel where it was scheduled to happen withdrew the booking and told them to leave.
Eventually the police escorted them to conduct their meeting in the open air – in the cold and rain near the tea-hut in Hyde Park.
Around 80 of them huddled round in a tight bunch encircling Vonar as he spoke without an amplifier under a sea of umbrellas.
They were heavily guarded by police but before long groups of anti-fascists arrived and they were in full voice.
By the time they finished their gathering Vona and his supporters were left in no doubt that fascists and racists are not welcome in Britain.