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They don’t like the system

October 25th, 2011

People have no choice but to demonstrate against the authoritarian practices of the present government, Népszabadság believes, while Magyar Nemzet discovered politicians who supported the Gyurcsány government in the crowd at last weekend’s demonstration organised on Facebook.

Tens of thousands demonstrated against government policies in Budapest on Sunday. The protest (organised around the slogan “we don’t like the system”) was organised through Facebook by the One Million for the Freedom of Press group. Speakers called on civic groups to unite and democratic forces to provide an alternative to the governing parties. The rally was organized on the 55th anniversary of the outbreak of the 1956 revolution.

Magyar Nemzet spotted prominent Socialist politicians in the crowd who “still don’t understand what was wrong with either former Socialist PM Ferenc Gyurcsány’s speech in Őszöd,” (See BudaPost, September 19 ) or the police attack on the 50th anniversary of the 1956 revolution. Columnist Szabolcs Szerető finds it strange that speakers alleged a certain lack of democracy, in their address to a freely organised mass rally.

“When the parliamentary opposition is weak, emasculated, divided and even less popular than the battered government parties, it is understandable that anti-political organisations emerge from the left-liberal hinterlands,” and start to play a bigger role – writes the deputy editor of the pro-governmental daily. Fidesz, he believes, were wrong to cancel their own anniversary rally, in the absence of PM Viktor Orbán, who was otherwise engaged in Brussels at the EU summit.

In a front page editorial, Népszabadság suggests that civil society simply had to raise its voice against the government’s policies. The gathering of such a mass of people, the commentator continues, is proof that “something has clearly gone wrong.” The left wing daily says that what brought demonstrators onto the streets was the fact that “Orbán’s revolution is pushing European values further and further away.”

“We would like to live in a society where freedom and democracy are not just the citizens’ idea, but that of those in power as well,” – Népszabadság quotes one of the speakers, and expresses the hope that the future will have more in common with   Sunday’s peaceful demonstration, than with the violent protests of 2006.

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