Auróra community centre
Auróra Community Centre – “Thank you – Aurora” Photo:

On Monday, three representatives of the US Democratic Party have sent a public letter to express their support towards Auróra community centre. The building of the lounge is also the meeting place of many Hungarian civil associations.

The local government of Józsefváros has already closed Auróra several times in the last two years. Its building is the home of many civil associations, independent from the government. The managers of the club appealed to the court every time, and Auróra could reopen because closing it was against the law.

Civil demostration - Heroes Square
Demonstration for the civil society in Hungary at Heroes Square – 2017
Photo: Hungary

Botond Sára, mayor of the district, says that the issue is not about the civil society, but about the tranquillity of the locals. 

“That is a drug farm. It should be closed soon.”

– said the mayor in his interview with RTL News associate. Last time, the community centre was closed at the beginning of this August, because last year’s proceedings prolonged until this summer. According to the Hungarian Helsinki Committee – the local government is closing the club regularly, based on trumped accusations and false reasons (e.g. wrong date on the renting contract). 

Senator Ben Cardin

Two years ago, the US Embassy of Budapest already protested against closing Auróra club. They expressed their grievance about the government’s behaviour that it only wants to close the club because of the civil activity there against the propaganda. This view is also shared by the three MPs of the US Democratic Party who came to Budapest and visited the community centre during this summer. They stand with Auróra in their public letter – reported RTL News. Senator Ben Cardin states:

the local government sees this kind of activity as a threat, and their strategy is, to keep Auróra closed with legal instruments.  

The representatives note: the Hungarian governmental parties accepted a law in 2017, that permits to stigmatise those civil associations, that are financially supported from abroad as “foreign agent organisations”

Botond Sára firmly states that they will not respond to the public letter of the US MPs – RTL News reported.


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