My Budapest (4): Pro-government rally
After the anti-government rally on the 2nd of January, pro-Orban journalists from Magyar Nemzet organized a rally on the 21st of January. Organizers’ intention was not only to show the huge number of Orban’s supporters, but also to send a strong message to European and international institutions which lately increased their pressure on Hungary to reverse anti-democratic laws. Hundreds of buses brought around 400,000 people from all over the country (the information is taken from The Contrarian Hungarian, who is also offering an excellent text report on demonstrators’ claims and feelings; read also Andor Jakab’s report). People gathered at 4 PM at Hősök tere (Heroes Square); maybe not quite surprisingly, most of them were of an old age, exhibiting great deference towards medieval nationalist dresses and symbols. Here’s my photo report (click on photos to enlarge):
I’m not sure about how exactly protecting the Orban government is also protecting Europe, but people seem to think so:
Since the organizers are pro-governmental journalists, it is not hard to understand who are considered ‘responsible journalists’ and who are not so labelled:
The huge crowd (maybe the largest in the last decades) is marching on Andrássy Avenue, heading to Bajcsy-Zsilinszky. People are generally quiet, however some groups are singing and praying in a low voice.
The crowd is quietly marching on Bajcsy-Zsilinszky:
On Bajcsy-Zsilinszky, two anti-government activists are defying the crowd. However, the old people are already tired of walking, so beside some swearing and whistles nothings is heard:
Old women really care about their sovereignty:
The crowd is already on Báthory utca, heading to the Kossuth tér.
The below poster’s intention is to show that Hungarians have always supported individual freedoms, while Western powers are the real anti-democratic countries:
People want to show where they are coming from:
On Kossuth tér, in front of the Parliament’s building, the crowd is listening to two or three short speeches. They acclaim and cry ‘Viktor we are with you’:
Not everyone can get into the Kossuth square, so many stopped on Báthory utca.
Some claim there is no difference between the European Union and the Soviet Union:
They think that while in 1956 Hungary was attacked by tanks, now it is attacked by banks:
Now below is quite a strange claim, since Viktor Orban nationalized the pension system:
Candles for the heroes dead in the 1956 revolution against the Soviet occupation:
Wherever Europe and the world is going to, it seems Hungary is heading to the opposite direction:
The buses, previously parked in the huge parking lot close to Városliget (City Park), near Hősök tere (Heroes Square), are now on Bajcsy-Zsilinszky prepared to take the already tired old protesters back home. The rally was over around 6:30 PM.
Budapest, Hungary, 21st of January 2012 (Hősök tere – Andrássy ut – Bajcsy-Zsilinszky – Báthory utca – Kossuth tér).