Thousands return to streets in anti-government protest


Thousands of Hungarians gathered on the streets of Budapest on Sunday afternoon to march in protest once again against the Hungarian government’s current policies, according to a report by online news portal 

Protestors March in downtown Budapest in support of CEU on April 2, 2017.

Sunday’s demo was the latest in a lengthening series of demonstrations against the current government that began at the beginning of April with a march of solidarity in support of the Central European University (CEU), whose operations have been endangered by an amendment to Hungaryʼs education law.

Protestors at this latest gathering rejected the governmentʼs planned law on NGOs, vowed continued support for CEU, and rejected what they described as attacks on the countryʼs free press.

The march entitled “Nem adjuk a jövőnk, itt maradunk!” (We won’t give up our future, we’re staying here! ) was organized by Facebook groups “Oktatási Szabadságot!” (Freedom for Education!) and “Nem maradunk csendben!” (We won’t stay silent!).

At the demonstration Katalin Lukácsi, a researcher who recently left junior governing coalition party the Christian Democrats (KDNP), scolded the Hungarian government for representing views other than Pope Francis in the case of helping refugees. (The Pope has repeatedly spoken out against those who refuse to help refugees.)

Lukácsi also said she believes that the current Fidesz-KDNP government has lost its way and in the name of Christianity fights a war against Europe and helps Russian President Vladimir Putin in dividing Europe, according to the report.

Next demo set for May 29

Organizers of the Civilizáció volunteer group, which held a "Heroes veto" demonstration in mid-April on Budapest’s iconic Heroes’ Square in support of NGOs, announced following this Sundayʼs demo that they would hold a sequel protest on Monday, May 29, from 5.30 p.m. on Kossuth tér outside Parliament.

Civilizáció promised a "peaceful, violence-free demonstration" at which protestors would demand the withdrawal of a draft bill they say stigmatizes civil organizations.

Civilizáció describes itself as a volunteer group working for civil values, free of party politics, and requested that those attending on May 29 should not bring symbols or badges of political parties.

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