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Barricade Building 101

2006.10.24. 16:18 | ike

Creativity, speed and good improvisation skills are an absolute must if you try to build a street barricade during riots. There is little opportunity to use bring-it-yourself materials, so you have to get on with whatever you find on the scene, and good timing is essential if you want to avoid gas grenades and rubber bullets fired by the police during the construction. Budapest protesters on Monday excelled at all the three necessary skills, using the most absurd building blocks to deter police.

Here are the contenders for the title "Best Barricade Building Block, Budapest 2006":


No. 5.
Metal trash containers with burning trash
Trivial as it may sound, trash containers play a double role: they effectively block grenades and bullets, and, when set on fire, they create a psychological barrier that is difficult to overcome even for the toughest of riot police.


No. 4.
Concrete mixer
To build the barricade at the Pest end of Erzsébet bridge, protesters used a wide variety of materials taken from a nearby construction yard. Among lots of brick and wooden panels, they also used a concrete mixer, thus forcing police to deploy an unusual device, a snow plow to break through. Among all barricades, the one at the bridge took the longest to build and it was the last one to fall.

No. 3.
Bus
A bus operated by the Budapest Transportation Company (BKV) makes a perfect barricade in itself. On Monday, protesters occupied a number 15 bus, turned it across Bajcsy Zsilinszky út and took cover behind it until things got worse. They also tried to persuade a trolley bus driver to give up the vehicle, but the driver said no and fled without consequences. Here's an animated how-to about the hijacking part, complete with police intervention. Clever. (Note that this one was a failed attempt; the would-be barricade builders fled after the cops showed up.)


Watch all riot videos


No. 2.
Mobile toilet

Budapest mass events are notorious of the blue plastic toilet boxes, made by a company called ToiToi, emitting a smell which is a horrible mixture of feces, urine and chlorine. The Monday riots saw the first use of mobile toilets as barricade building elements in the 16-year old history of Hungarian democracy. Rioters deployed the ToiTois on Rákóczi út, using the boxes’ doors as improvised shields to block incoming bullets.

 
And the winner of the "Best
Barricade Building Block, Budapest 2006" contest is:
S.Z.A.B.A.D.S.Á.G.
"Szabadság" means freedom or liberty, and, to our best knowledge, this was the first time in the history of mankind that the word was used to build a barricade. On September 24, Budapest Mayor Gábor Demszky set up an art exhibit near the downtown city council: it was a series of man-tall, letter shaped objects painted the colors of the national flag - red, white and green -, that together spelt out the sentence “Budapest a szabadság fővárosa” (Budapest, the capital of liberty). On October 23, protesters removed the letters S, Z, A, B, A, D, S, Á  and G, and used the huge blocks to build a barricade. Lesson learnt: B is safer than D. And never try to hide behind a G.

15 comment

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A hozzászólások a vonatkozó jogszabályok  értelmében felhasználói tartalomnak minősülnek, értük a szolgáltatás technikai  üzemeltetője semmilyen felelősséget nem vállal, azokat nem ellenőrzi. Kifogás esetén forduljon a blog szerkesztőjéhez. Részletek a  Felhasználási feltételekben.

fáklyás menet 2006.10.24. 21:44:47

I don't understand why did you hide it this blog in the last month (at least you did'nt show it in the index main page!)? Did you shame it? Why?

anarki · http://riotsinhungary.blog.hu/ 2006.10.24. 22:06:55

Not much happened since the mtv siege, so by the time we were ready to go, we were left without an issue, that'a why. cheers.

John 2006.10.24. 22:17:36

The huge letters forming the word "SZABADSAG" (freedom) were not used as a barricade (as light and vulnerable objects they were totally inadequate for that purpose) but they were expressing a message to the police force and the rulers of the country behing them.

Beyonder 2006.10.24. 22:35:20

What's the point in writing this blog?

dH · http://dh.squidcode.com 2006.10.25. 00:42:51

This kind of blog is the reason why blog-style publishing was borned. Excellent articles.

Zs. 2006.10.25. 08:06:39

Excellent idea, this blog! Keep on rockin!

om 2006.10.25. 10:28:10


Hungary, keep on moving !

groundwalker 2006.10.25. 11:15:40

Kik vagytok ti?
Mármint kik üzemelik ezt a blogot?
Amúgy jó.

Martin Kincs 2006.10.25. 11:16:36

I was well impressed by the steel girders at the Pest side of Erszébet bridge. Perhaps the best advice to barricade builders is: set up your barricade near a construction site.
More creatively, on Veres Pálné u. they overturned a large metal frame normally used to hold a canopy over outdoor café tables. Very effective.
Round the corner on Kúria u. they flipped a couple of cars on their side. Personally, I sympathise with whoever owns the car - it wasn't an expensive sports model - but you can't beat it as barricade material. No snowplow is gonna push it aside. It doesn't seem too difficult to set them on fire, either.

medve 2006.10.25. 11:32:46

respect!
finally an authentic (and kind of professional) source of information about ourselves for foreigners.
i hope you'll go on and cover more and more local issues in the future, even after the burst of this wicked bubble.
cheers.

klomp 2006.10.25. 13:49:56

The video with the nearly succeeded bus hike was made at the Buda side of Erzsebet hid. You can see drive away the bus along Gellért Hegy.

ike 2006.10.25. 14:18:52

You're right, and clearly the bus in this video is not the one they used as a barricade on Bajcsy. This was a failed attempt, the guys gave up eventually. I added this to the post, and thanks.

sourcerror 2006.10.28. 08:50:16

I highly agree with medve.

sehpferd · http://budapestjournal.com/ 2006.11.04. 12:36:42

Very interestig source. I recently linked to your blog in an article.

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