Monday, July 7, 2008

Day 41- July 5th : A perfect gay day ruined!!!

Today is the Gay Pride Festival and Parade and I have disregard the warning of danger and came face to face with the detractors. Andreas and I went out to the streets around 10am and the riot polices are already in full gear and we were told there are 4,000 police on the streets today; mostly areas surrounding the short parade route. The barricades are all in places and each intersection has a police check point. The parade is still 6 hours away and the air is stiff...

At any given Saturday Ardassy Utca is always busy and packed with people and tourist but today the street empty and police cars lined the streets. In 2006 the Parade was at it's peak with 3000 people marched with it's festive colors. In 2007 the Hungarian nationalist Nazi's came and the the attendance dropped by 1000 and countless parade watchers also disappeared. This year I wonder what will happen and from the surrounding atmosphere, things are not good at all. All my friends are scared to go out today and they are certain a riot will happen. I just hope no one will be hurt today because 4 people had lost their lives last year. I did some work at the Internet cafe an came back to the room as the time passes on the more police swamp the area. 320 pm I can't wait any longer and took to the street what I saw was brutal, uncivilized and ugly.

The Hungarian Nazis mobilized in small groups took over the side walk from all directions and chanted “Kill the fags, kill the stupid diseased gays”, they voiced their hate with such clarity and mixed with songs of nationalism and old glory. They laugh, drunk, pissed on the street, they tried to break the barricades and shouted at the police. The parade is still half an hour away... This is like a horror movie or Armageddon... some lost tourist are confused, scared and locals are angry and this section of the city is in virtual locked down.

Public transportation is stopped 3 stations away, cars are blocked and people have difficulties going from one street to another. I was concerned but never scared even though I know they are also racist.. I watched and photographed; I listened and saw. I want to experience this because this is part of the experience even though it's unpleasant and hurtful. I know hate exist but I want to look them in the eyes. 10 mins before the the parade starts a group of 100-200 Nazis organized a march on the side streets where police weren't paying very much attention.

They shouted “Kill the fags, kill the stupid diseased gays” as they walked one short block and the near by Nazis clapped and were rejoiced. The group came towards me... and one man walk up to me.... He scream at me in Hungarian and said fuck China in English (I later found out he said go back to China). He pushed me and tried to grab my camera but I didn't let him, yet he pushed me even harder... just in the nick of time two by standers came over and made him stop and escorted me to the sidewalk. They said “ no problem” but just as they tried to comfort me 2 pipe bombs went off 30 feet away from me. The Nazis had thrown 2 pipe bombs at the police and their march dissipated.. the riot police started to chase them... I still wasn't afraid but am disgusted at the violence and I have seen enough. I am not going to put myself in danger because there are just too many people care about me.

I left the area and went for a spring bath. I had dinner at Attila's and told him what I had saw. It was also my last eating at his restaurant. I wonder when will the next time be? Later that evening I went to Sandor's apartment and had a nice visit. He told me only 300 people participated in the parade and they faced 1000's of Nazis and some were hurt. I am uncertain if there will be a parade next year because the violence and the record low attendance.

I think the parade marchers should throw fresh flowers at the Nazis when they throw spoiled eggs, acid bombs, fire bombs, and rocks at them. They should hold peace signs and dress in white, bring their children, their uncles, aunts and grandparents to show the world gays and lesbians have families just like the Nazis. It doesn't matter who you choose to love.

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