About 40,000 march against internet tax

Analysis

An estimated 40,000 demonstrators marched down Andrássy út, yesterday evening, to protest the recently announced plans of levying a tax on internet traffic. The event was organized less than a week after the tax was announced by an informal group who set up a Facebook page that received more than 200,000 "likes" in just a few days.

Organizers said the Hungarian government is seeking to tax the internet because they want to control internet readers, who are well-informed and less easy to manipulate. Speakers at the demonstration gave an ultimatum to the governing Fidesz Party: They have 48 hours to cancel the plan of internet tax entirely, or another demonstration will be held on Tuesday.

The demonstrators marched from József Nádor tér, down Andrássy út to Hősök tere, where the majority of the demonstrators left for home. Several thousand demonstrators marched to the nearby Fidesz headquarters and threw old computer parts at the building, damaging some windows.

Two demonstrators climbed up the balcony of the building and set up an EU flag, receiving a loud applause from the crowd. Riot police were on the scene, but no violence was reported.

Former Budapest mayor Gábor Demszky and U.S. Chargé d'Affaires André Goodfriend were reportedly seen at the march yesterday.

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