Here in Hungary we push recognized refugees into homelessness. Over the past few years the typical way of life for many refugees was the following: when they arrive without papers we give them 1-12 months of detention, during which we threaten them with batons and calm them down with sedative pills. After their jailing and we recognise that they are actually refugees, we then welcome them to an open camp and are helped by 2 or 3 social workers — who are replaced annually, because we can not expect such few social workers to really help refugees in their needs of housing and a subsistence amount of social benefits in their new home of Hungary.
In 2013 about 100 refugees, who came to Hungary from Afghanistan, got tired and frustrated with our empty promises, and left Hungary for Germany as a protest against the desperation that we provide them, so well. Before they left they were residents of the camp in the small Hungarian town of Bicske — within that camp live refugees who have proven to us that they were persecuted in their home country, and because of that we give them Hungarian identity cards. Along with those 100 Afghan refugees, hundreds of our refugee residents leave us towards the West, they did not want to wait and have to relive the experience of homelessness that we generously offer.
In 2013 we were generous and, of course, did not use the police to forcibly throw these refugees into the street. Even though, in reality, we did persuade them with a vigorous effort to leave by confusing and frustrating them. Those refugees who fell for our subtle tricks went to the homeless shelters that we pushed them towards. This is not the most ideal place for the ‘integration’ of refugees into Hungarian society, but my goodness they should be thankful for what we offer! In this way, at least, we welsome those who were vulnerable in their own homelands, even if ironically they are still vulnerable in their new home of Hungary.
28th of February, 2013 — this was the deadline we gave to them to move out of the Bicske camp. Of course, 15 days before that last day we didn’t bother to tell them, how they could get social support etc, we only asked them to be impatient with us.
During 2013 and 2014, however, we did throw out refugees with the help of our police. These people also came to us from the world’s most dangerous places, but now they can live in less fear from our winter frost and the police’s enforcement of the government’s new anti-homeless laws — better this than the Taliban or another Syrian atrocity, right? No, it’s not right. Their current climate may have changed but the fear still remains.
MigSzol will be going to the AVM protest this February 22, 2014, Budapest — more info: