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Three demos protest governmentʼs hard line on refugees

Opposition to the governmentʼs refugee policy was the subject of two demonstrations in Budapest today and a gathering outside of Keleti Train Station last night. Thousands of people participated in the events.

Marchers in the demonstration organized by Együtt. (Photo: MTI/János Marjai)

The first demonstration today, staged by the Democratic Coalition (DK) party, began around 3 p.m. at Egyetem tér near Eötvös Lóránd University. Party leader and former Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány said that “those who suffer need to be helped.” He urged Hungarian citizens to think about what they would do if they needed to escape their country. While there was no head count at this demonstration, it was apparently attended by at least 1,000 protestors.

Afterwards, the Együtt party held a demonstration that started at Szabadsajtó út at 4 p.m. today, and drew an estimated 3,000-3,500 demonstrators, who marched along the Danube River towards the Parliament. Speakers said they were demonstrating against the government’s refugee policy and against the “demolition of free press”, origo.hu reported.

Last night, a several thousand local demonstrators organized by Migszol, held a “Refugees Welcome Solidarity Day” gathering outside of Keleti Train station to call for a common European asylum policy that would allow refugees to obtain the protection they need in the European Union.