My Budapest (25): the three rallies, 2012 second edition
So on the 23rd October we had the second edition of (what we could call) Budapest’s Three Rallies Day (take a look at the first edition of the three rallies 2012, on 15th March). The places became already some kind of tradition: Orban’s supporters rallied in fron of the Parliament (Kossuth Square), the opposition on Szabad Sajtó Út (Erzsébet Bridge), and the extremist party Jobbik on Deak ter. However, unlike the event seven months ago, some interesting differences could be observed. First, other smnaller demonstrations took place in the same day: around noon, liberal politicians (the former SZDSZ and the LMP) gathered at the “301 parcella” of the New Municipal Cemetery (Kozma Street 6), where in 1989 have been found the remains of all the members of 1956 Revolution’s Government. Another demonstration took place in Egyetem Tér, where former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány and his new party (the Democratic Coalition) met their supporters. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend these smaller meetings, so no picture available.
[UPDATE] In the evening, Jobbik supporters started to march with fire torches from Deak ter to Astoria, chanting ‘dirty Jews’ as they passed the Synagogue. I was not aware of this plan, so I missed it completely – so once again, no photo. However, you can watch a video here and another one here.]
A second major change in comparison with the event that took place seven months ago was the route selected for the Peace March (organized by Orban’s supporters): this time they set aside the longer and more spectacular march between the Heroes Square (Hősök tere) and Parliament, and decided to arrive at the Parliament after a march which started on Széna Tér (Buda side) and continued on the Margit híd. Again, no photos from this march.
So let us now start with the pictures. Don’t forget, double click on each photo to enlarge it. This is Jobbik’s gathering on Deák Ferenc tér. Before turning to pictures, I have to say that, unlike the event seventh months before, this time there seemed to be quite fewer people, the present people were quite tired, there were very few fancy motorcicles, and almost no interesting figure. Which I guess is good.
Banners are translated by The Contrarian Hungarian (many thanks for this!). Below, the banners say “We don’t want Merkel! Enough of the EU”; and “Comrade Matolcsy: Pay, pay, pay”
Below, there is a picture of an African singer, Fekete Pákó. According to The Contrarian Hungarian, ‘He has “celebrity” status in Hungary, and is also known for having accused some of the more famous members of the extreme right of racism. The sign says “You should have extradited Pákó”‘
And now Milla’s demonstration, which gathered, according to my personal opinion, even more people than seven months ago. What is even more, according to Hungarian Spectrum blog’s owner Eva Balogh (article in English), this demonstration marked out the next leader of the united opposition and the following counter-candidate for the actual Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. People seem to be very happy about this, but I am extremely sceptic. If we take into account the important divisions in the democratic opposition spectrum (ecologists, democrats, socialists), a possible great coalition started now will have to face two years of internal fighting for positions and eligible seats in the Parliament. Something like this happened in the neighbouring Romania, where socialists and liberals (opposition) formed a great coalition this year before December elections, but the race for votes and Parliament seats soon started to create internal wars that couldn’t be hidden. Let us hope Hungarians are much smarter. However, although I highly respect Eva Balogh and her articles, I think we shouldn’t be too hasty. Miracles could happen, but at this point I am still sceptic.
So, I tried to take two photos in order to give you an idea about the number of Milla’s supporters. But I still couldn’t catch them all:
Below: “Miniature/Prime minister”
As I have already said, the meeting seemed more like a gathering of different supporters of different views than a body of persons linked by the same ideas, or a political program. Here are some Anonymous supporters, who are saying that “Change of government is not enough, we want participatory democracy!”
Above, the Szolidaritas poster says “Comrades, it’s over!”. In the picture below, instead of Felvilágosult Abszolutism (Enlightened Absolutism), the sign says Alvilág (Underworld) -osult Absolutism. The Contrarian Hungarian translates it as “Gangland-powered Absolutism”:As always, European Union’s flags have been waived only by Milla’s supporters:Below: “Enough of Orbán’s Nepotistic Shack and New Turulic Hitlerism”:
Below: “Orbán: Don’t lie to the people! Get lost!”; “Orbán, you really screwed up these two years! Get lost!”And let us go now to Orban’s supporters. As in Jobbik’s case, the demonstration this time was less interesting and less funny, and the number of attendants was far smaller than in other pro-Orban gatherings. This time I was surprised to see only old men and women attending the event. As you can see in the several pictures below, benches have been installed for those too weak to stand. Moreover (and here you’ll have to believe me), before Orban’s speech there was an almost tow-hours party with poetry readings, patriotic songs, and nationalist discourses. Orban’s most celebrated sentences in his discourse were: ‘We can’t accept that others can decide what we can do in our own country’ and ‘we can’t accept that foreigners govern us.’ (translation taken from Hungarian Spectrum’s post).
Above: “8km from the Hungarian Vatican, next to the Small Danube, Tát” [Tát is the name of a village by a smaller branch of the Danube called Kis Duna”.
Below: interesting enough, I have seen a poster on a photographic project entitled ‘Casa Mare’ (in Romanian: ‘The big house’). It was right in front of the Parliament. However, it doesn’t seem to be made by a RomanianYou can read about this exhibition here.
And then again, Orban’s… ‘youngsters’: