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Protesters break into ruling party’s headquarters compound

Several dozen protesters turned up at the Budapest headquarters of the ruling Fidesz party on Thursday to demonstrate against the planned amendment to the constitution. The civil protesters climbed over the front gate and into the garden of the building but they did not manage to get into the building itself. The demonstrators then started a sit-in with the banners: “the constitution is not a game”, “fair campaign, free elections!” displayed, as well as others critical of legislation against the homeless and ones calling for an independent judiciary, freeing churches from state control and free university studies. MTI’s correspondent said the demo was “spontaneous” and not organized by any single organization. One demonstrator was removed from the site in handcuffs for ignoring police requests to refrain from entering the building. One of the participants said the peaceful demonstration would continue as they believed “the rights of every Hungarian will be curtailed if the fourth amendment passes”. He said they would remain at the building until the bill is withdrawn. Earlier in the week civil organizations asked for the Venice Commission to review the planned changes, which they said would “undermine the rule of law and constitutionalism in Hungary by further weakening the constitutional court’s control over parliament and by repeatedly, and in bulk, inserting regulations into the Basic Law which the constitutional court had found unconstitutional or in breach of European human rights treaties.”