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Ad-hoc demo sparked by Áder’s signing ‘lex CEU’

Interview

An ad-hoc demonstration was sparked late Monday night in the wake of the signing by Hungary’s President János Áder of the so-called “lex CEU” amendment to the law on higher education, according to an on-site report by online news portal index.hu.

Protestors gather outside the building housing the state secretariat for education on Szalay utca during a larger demonstration on Sunday for the same cause. (Photo: MTI/Zoltán Balogh)

The impromptu demonstration started at the Sándor Palace in Buda Castle, the official residence of the president, where it was welcomed by a strong riot police presence, according to index.hu. The police later pressed charges against an individual who allegedly threw paint at the police, according to reports.

The crowd swelled to several thousands of demonstrators, according to index.hu, as protesters marched via Oktogon to the headquarters of Hungarian state-owned radio. The crowd was awaited at the radio building by riot police, who occasionally used pepper spray as some demonstrators tried to climb the building in order to fly a European Union flag, which was finally successful.

While at the building housing the Kossuth Radio station, which has been accused of running government-friendly propaganda and plays host to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s regular biweekly interview, often criticized for its softball approach, the crowd called out slogans including “Free Kossuth Radio!” and “Real news!”

Although the spontaneous demonstration, which took place late at night, attracted only relatively small numbers, organizers are set to hold a far bigger demonstration on Wednesday, according to reports.

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