For quite a few days now the media has closely followed a story about a ticket office and atrocities against it by a shadowy extreme right-wing group, perhaps coordinated by a blogger who calls himself Tomcat. The events began when a young woman went to a ticket office in the district known as Újlipótváros. Újlipótváros used to be part of Lipótváros, that is downtown Pest. The old Jewish quarters were also situated in Lipótváros, and therefore in certain circles the name of the district became virtually synonymous with Jewishness. In any case the young woman wanted to purchase a ticket for a rock concert given by a group of far-right musicians. The clerk had never heard of the group but told the woman that she would check. After she found the group’s name in her computer she told the customer the price: the cost of the ticket plus a 100 Ft handling fee. The young woman became enraged by the extra cost, complained to her ideological friends, and told them that the people at the ticket office had called her a fascist because she wanted to buy a ticket for this particular concert. The result: a Molotov cocktail in the middle of the night. The owners quickly fixed up the place, but by that time Tomcat and his friends had a new plan. Their idea was to bombard the ticket office with requests for tickets for another right-wing concert whose tickets are not even available through ticket offices.
However, a group of people who had had enough of the radical right’s incredible performances of late came to the ticket office’s rescue. At least 500 people gathered to defend the ticket office against approximately 50 neo-nazis. When I used the word "neo-nazi" I’m not exaggerating. I saw one young guy in a T-shirt with Hitler’s picture on it! I really wonder whether these ignorant youngsters actually know anything about Hitler and the Third Reich. I’m not at all sure. Tomcat, camera in hand, was taking videos from the second floor of a nearby house, but the only thing he could see was that his friends disappeared when the police arrived. Interestingly enough the police, following Hungarian law, started proceedings against both groups. The demonstration was what the police call a "flash mob." A demonstration that begins spontaneously. It is unannounced. According to Hungarian law any demonstration must be announced to the police three days before the event.
Some of the demonstrators were obviously frustrated that they couldn’t attack the ticket office due to the counter-demonstrators and the police. Two diehards decided to return to the scene. In the dead of night they broke the shop windows of the ticket office. However, the police were on the lookout and the perpetrators were arrested a few minutes later.
Undeterred, Tomcat and his friends are organizing a new demonstration. The anti-fascists are also organizing and tomorrow the scene will be repeated. However, this time the counter-demonstrators have a powerful ally: the prime minister himself. He announced his intention to join the counter-demonstrators and asked the other party leaders and the president to join him. Ibolya Dávid of MDF has already announced that she will not be there. She claimed that it was the police’s job to keep order. I’m almost certain that Viktor Orbán will not show up. As for Sólyom, I highly doubt it.