In June police subjected Auróra to an 18 hour raid, forcing it to close two bars
A solidarity event has been organised in Berlin to raise international awareness of Auróra cultural centre in Budapest’s eighth district, now its existence is under threat following an 18 hour police raid. On 20 August, ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics in Berlin will present an evening of films and discussion about the current situation of Auróra in the broader context of Hungarian politics.
Auróra is not only a significant hub for music and art, it’s home to organisations advocating the rights of marginalised groups such as Roma, LGBTQI, sex workers, the homeless, and people with substance abuse problems. Founded in 2014 by the Jewish organisation Marom, it is also home to the Jewish community Dor Hadash.
The police raid instigated by local government resulted in the arrest of two visitors for possession of personal use quantities of marijuana. The mayor of the eighth district subsequently revoked Auróra's trade license, eliminating 80 per cent of its revenue from selling food and drink.
“The whole story of Auróra perfectly fits to the political trends in Hungary, where the far right is continuously strengthening, hatefulness is the essential part of the government's communication and the prime minister states that liberal democracy must be transitioned to illiberal democracy (whatever that means),” reads a statement posted on Auróra’s website. “Recently, Auróra has taken a strong stand against the Hungarian government's legislative efforts to impede the work of the internationally renowned Central European University (CEU), foreign agent laws against internationally connected NGOs and the anti-Semitic campaigns against CEU initiator and supporter George Soros.”
Auróra was featured in Nikolaus Gerszewski’s Global Ear report from Budapest in The Wire 380. Subscribers can read it at Exact Editions.
The centre is still operating but it's asking for support to maintain activities and help fund its legal action to regain its trade license. The ZK/U Center for Art and Urbanistics’ solidarity event in Berlin is free but donations are welcome. Alternatively you can donate via their support page.