(Salon.com) BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Tens of thousands of protesters have attended a rally expressing their opposition to the policies of Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
Speakers from several civic groups, united by the “I don’t like the regime” motto, condemned a wide range of government measures, from restrictive media polices to changes in the tax system hurting the poor.
Balazs Denes, head of the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union, said the weak opposition parties in parliament, up against Orban’s two-thirds majority, were also responsible for the problems affecting Hungarian democracy.
A spokesman said Hungary’s “alternative president” will be elected at the next rally on March 15.
Sunday’s demonstration was held on the 55th anniversary of Hungary’s 1956 revolution against Soviet rule.
Demonstrators hold a poster depicting Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban looking like Matyas Rakosi, communist era dictator of the 50s during an anti-government demonstration in Budapest, Hungary, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2011. Tens of thousands of Hungarians gathered to protest against Orban’s government at the 55th anniversary of the 1956 Hungarian revolution. (AP Photo/Bela Szandelszky) (Credit: AP)
(economist) They don’t like the system
OCTOBER 23rd is a resonant date for Hungarians. Fifty-five years ago the failed anti-Soviet uprising began when teenage street fighters starting lobbing Molotov cocktails at Russian tanks. The revolution was crushed by the Soviets, but remains seared into the country’s collective consciousness.
The young, middle-aged and elderly protestors at yesterday’s demonstration in Budapest hoped to capture the spirit of 1956. Tens of thousands of them marched under the banner of Nem tetszik a rendszer? (“You don’t like the system?”). See video footage here.
Organised by a Facebook group, the protest was peaceful, good-humoured and crackling with energy, despite the rain and winds. The crowds stretched from the Elizabeth Bridge into the heart of the city, and probably exceeded the numbers at the first such mass protest in March this year.