“Get out of here or we torch your house!”- this threatening was heard at a village assembly in Őcsény, which had only one issue at hand: 1 or 2 refugee families would come to a local inn for a few days to relax. The threatening was aimed at the owner of the inn.
There were so many participants at the community center in Őcsény that they couldn’t be fit in the room. The vice-mayor doesn’t remember so many people coming to a village assembly ever before.
Mr. Fülöp János, the mayor asked the villagers to use a sober, parliamentary language in his opening and in his later remarks too, but his message was not heard. The participants of the village assembly were made up from roughly thee types. First the loudmouth, who wasn’t interested in any information and gives voice to it (shouts regularly: “Whatever you say, you folks won’t come here!); then the fearful — fearing the rapists and terrorists appearing in Őcsény. Neither of these two ever minded the fact that those who were taken in by the Hungarian state had received status as refugees because they themselves were fleeing terror and violence. The last type was the silent observer: although they had a questions, we could not get to give them substantial answers.
Although some of the locals started their remarks by stating they were not racist, the xenophobia was thick. “Even the Turks have occupied Buda by seeping in slowly.” “First comes 10, then 100. First they just take a vacation, then they want to move in.” “I moved back home from Germany because over there I was afraid to go out to the streets, because I saw Muslims everywhere. Here in the village I am among the likes of me.” “The school facing that inn, how will they protect our daughters?”
Zoltán, the owner of the inn, and Siewert András representing Migration Aid were trying to give answers to the questions and proposes.
The conclusion of the mayor was like this: the inn works absolutely legally, and the municipality has no legal means to act against anybody staying in the inn. But the villagers may step up against it, for example with civil disobedience. They could line up around the building and prevent anybody from entering. They should keep their papers at hand in case of police intervention.
Siewert András summed up his opinion for a-tv:
“Knowing the public opinion nowadays it could be anticipated. I am sorry though, for the locals didn’t even give one chance for the refugees. They wouldn’t say: OK, let’s get a family here for a few days to stay and let’s see what happens, let’s see if any problems occur, at the worst we’ll put a police car at the inn to stay on the safe side and keep everybody calm. I understand that they are afraid, because this is exactly what the government propaganda aimed at in the last two years: to make the Hungarians afraid.
The vice-mayor said at village assembly that she was glad to see so many people came and the village joined up. She urged the villagers to come at other meetings too and to join together in other causes too.
Unfortunately we have bad news for her. It is a well-known phenomenon in social psychology that the hatred for a common enemy joins people together. But hatred is not a force of social cohesion, if you use it as a base, you will build on shifting sand.
Only one question remains: what will remain from this country, if there is so much hatred and fear in the people? One day we’ll run out of refugees, but the hatred will stay. It will look for a new target for itself…