Saturday, October 22, 2011

Evictions in the 14th District of Budapest


On October 18 local authorities of the 14th district of Budapest, Zugló, started evictions of the homeless. Until October 18 there existed several self constructed houses near the railway embankment at  Francia St. and Egressy St. corner for almost 7 years. There were hiding behind the garages, so they even were not visible from the street. On Tuesday, though, the municipality started its action and demolished around 5 huts and left 9 homeless without a roof. On October 19 the authorities evicted other 7 people and destroyed their huts.
Some activists from A Város Mindenkié (The City for All) initiative and anarchists tried to prevent the destruction of the huts.


The eviction started around 9 in the morning. There were some police officers, public area supervisor and district inspector together with a group of public workers. First, the team of 17 poor public workers from the neighbourhood who are employed by the local government for ridiculously small money started moving mattresses and blankets of the homeless from one side of the street to another. Then they started to collect personal belongings of the homeless and piling them up at the edge of the street, as well as demolishing their huts. A group of activists tried to protect at least one hut. They occupied the hut to prevent its demolition. The police officers tore the door and told the activists to leave. After they refused to do so, the policemen called the colleagues that were about to arrest the activists. At the end, the police officers just took the data of the activists, nobody was arrested. Later on the representatives of the local authorities came to the activists and wrote their data too for unknown purposes. The local authorities, such as the mayor of Zugló, Ferenc Papcsák, deputy mayor of Zugló Attila Rozgonyi and the others.  
Then, the local authorities were discussing the legality of the eviction of the huts with the A Város Mindenkié activists who were outside the hut. There were also some media present. The discussion took place during the time when the trash collecting truck was taking all the belongings of the homeless and destroying them in front of their eyes. The activists tried to save at least some books from the piles of the newly created "trash". The authorities did not provide any papers or arguments for the eviction, and they were mostly talking with their emotions, not facts. The eviction was illegal, as the legal process demanded at least two weeks of time to be started, but the local authorities did not want to wait, so that they started the eviction without any right to do so. The land where the huts were belongs to the state, and it is not clear which right the local authority has to it.
The inhabitants of the huts were just orally advised to move out from their habitat, and there was no written decision for this measure. From the point of view of A Város Mindenkié, the demkolition of hte huts was illegal, as the homeless have no right to appeal. The activist group plans to deliver this case to the legal proceedings on order to prevent such illegal actions in the future and to compensate the damage to the evicted homeless.
One of the arguments the local authorities provided was that the homeless should move to the shelters. In fact, the conditions in the homeless shelters in Budapest are really bad, there is no or little heating there, and the beds are full of bugs. Moreover, in the shelters the homeless are more inclined to become victims of violence or robbery. This is why the A Város Mindenkié activists asked the mayor of Zugló who is also a Member of Parliament to submit a paper demanding an adequate right to housing to become a law.

Links in Hungarian:
http://avarosmindenkie.blog.hu/2011/10/20/folytatodnak_a_jogserto_kunyhobontasok_zugloban
http://nol.hu/belfold/ujabb_hajlektalankunyhokat_bontottak_le_zugloban
http://hvg.hu/itthon/20111018_zuglo_hajlektalanok_dozerolas
http://www.nepszava.hu/articles/article.php?id=482482
http://www.blikk.hu/blikk_aktualis/eluzik-a-hajlektalanokat-zuglobol-2068254

http://atv.hu/video/video-20111019_maganteruleten_huztak_fel_bodeikat_a_hajlektalanok_lebontottak
http://index.hu/video/2011/10/19/koszonom_polgarmester_ur_de_ma_hol_alszom/

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