On May 27, 2010 the City is for All (A Város Mindenkié) held a rally in front of the building of the local authority of Ferencváros in Budapest, Hungary, with the slogan “Housing, Not Walls!” The aim of the rally was to protest the anti-social behavior of the mayor and the local housing department.
The rally was attended by 150-200 people, which is a great achievement for such a cause in Hungary. It was a rare moment that unified many of the social movements and progressive forces active in Hungary.
After a speech by members of City is for All, one of whom delivered the message of the Varga family who had been evicted by the local authority on May 13, 2010, we attempted to deliver our open letter to the representative of the local authority. In the letter we asked the mayor for a personal appointment where we could ask our seven questions regarding the district’s questionable housing policy promoting gentrification and the displacement of poor residents. Since no one from the municipality came to take our letter (the protest was after the opening hours of the office), we handed our letter over to the alter egos of the mayor and two representatives of the housing department.
We closed the demonstration by calling on the three leaders of the district to provide housing to those in need of affordable housing and symbolically walling the entrance of the local authority to protest the district’s inhumane social housing units.
Meanwhile, 13 individuals and organization from Chile to Hong Kong responded to our international call for solidarity and sent an email to Mayor Gegesy in support of A Város Mindenkié, the Varga family and the thousands of people who live in shameful housing conditions, wait for social housing or live as homeless in the district of Ferencváros.
A Város Mindenkié is continuing the struggle for fair and adequate housing for all the residents of Budapest and Ferencváros. In addition to our request for an appointment with Mayor Gegesy, we will take our case to the National Commissioner for Civil Rights, write a legislative proposal for the right to housing and launch a Zero Evictions Campaign with the help of the International Alliance of Inhabitants among other things.
Budapest, June 1, 2010.