Resisting privatisation can get you in trouble at the best of times, but this is something else…
The entire leadership of the Hungarian Communist Workers Party is being placed on trial on Friday 21 September at the City Court of Szekesfeheervar. The prosecution arises from a previous legal action by the Budapest City Court in 2005. This ruled the proceedings of the party’s 21st Congress in June 2005 to be null and void. The Presidium of the HCWP declared this judgement to be political and an unjustified interference in the internal democracy of their party. It is for this statement that the Presidium is now being prosecuted. If sentenced, they face two years imprisonment.
The leadership of the HCWP argue that the prosecution is in clear violation of Article 61 of the Hungarian constitution guaranteeing freedom of expression.
The Communist Party of Britain and other Communist and Left parties based in Britain are picketing the embassy in protest at the prosecution. A letter will be handed in to the Ambassador calling on the Hungarian government to defend the civil rights of the Hungarian people.
Robert Griffiths, general secretary of the Communist Party of Britain, comments:
“This prosecution represents a serious attack on civil liberties of concern to all progressive people across Europe. It is an attempt to silence the main political force in Hungary which is currently resisting the current tide of privatization being imposed by the Hungarian government. The HCWP has already collected two million signatures against the privatisation of the Hungarian health service. The prosecution comes after previous anti-communist legislation that makes it illegal to wear a red star or display the hammer and sickle. As well as being in breach of the Hungarian constitution it also violates the declarations on human rights by the Council of Europe. We call on all those concerned with civil liberties to make their own representations”
I’ve blogged on anti-communism in Europe before, back in April when there was rioting in Estonia:
The bourgeoisie in the former socialist countries in Europe are keen to portray the restoration of capitalism as the restoration of democracy and liberty. But there is no evidence to suggest workers wanted privatisation, structural unemployment, migration, deprivation, people-trafficking and prostitution.
It is obvious now that a shake-up of the socialist systems of Eastern Europe, involving the retention of the planned economy and the extension of worker management, would have been preferable to the restoration of capitalism. The beneficiaries of the ‘liberation’ from the ‘Soviet Empire’ were not millions of workers but the millionaire bosses in Western Europe and the newly-crowned oligarchs. There was never a clear choice offered to the masses of Eastern Europe, but few would have chosen neo-colonialism.
The reason for the banning of the KSM [Communist Youth Union] was not, as originally claimed, their supposed espousal of violent revolution, but their support for public ownership of the means of production! This is a frightful notion for the bourgeoisie – a planned and managed economy is not focused on the accumulation of wealth for the disposal of a minority. The ban was because of the success of the group in gaining support among workers, not because they were planning violent acts against the state.