Making Politics of Migration: the Civil Cooperation Forum Signs

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“A happy, festive crowd has arrived to Hungary”      (photo: Orange Files).

On October 5, 2015, the pro-government political organization Civil Cooperation Forum (Civil Összefogás Fórum, or CÖF) erected twelve signs at a park near the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest juxtaposing images of opposition political officials and aggressive or seemingly aggressive migrants (see CÖF website in Hungarian).

The signs also display migration-related quotes which the depicted democratic opposition officials have made over the past few months and which radical-nationalist Jobbik President Gábor Vona—who supports the Orbán government‘s current migration policy—made during the previous parliamentary cycle.

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CÖF officials including President László Csizmadia (left) introduce the organization’s new signs at the Olimpia Park in Budapest (photo: 444.hu).

Civil Cooperation Forum President László Csizmadia, one of the main organizers of the five pro-government Peace Marches that have taken place in Budapest since 2012, said that the organization has not yet decided whether it will have the signs put up throughout Hungary (source in Hungarian)

Most of the signs depict migrants in Budapest during the Eastern Railway Station crisis in late August and early September and at the Röszke border crossing along the Hungarian-Serbian frontier during a clash with police on September 16—the single violent confrontation involving migrants in Hungary since the beginning of the Great Migration.

Below are Orange Files photos of the signs and translations of the displayed quotes.

Click on any photo to see gallery view.

See all 12 photos.

Note: Fidesz-affiliated foundations have provided much of the Civil Cooperation Forum’s financing (source in Hungarian). Opposition media has speculated that CÖF is also the recipient of indirect government funding through the likewise László Csizmadia-led National Cooperation Fund (Nemzeti Együtműködési Alap, or NEA) (source A and B in Hungarian).

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