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“We are in the hands of a person who has mental problems”

“Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”

– Mahatma Gandhi

Some two thousand people gathered in the Kossuth square on Sunday to protest a government proposal to turn Hungary into a police state every time Prime Minister Viktor Orbán cries wolf.

Among those attending the demonstration organized by Lajos Bokros’ Movement for a Modern Hungary (MOMA) were a number of former SZDSZ (Liberal Party) and MSZP (Socialist Party) politicians, including 1956 revolutionary hero Imre Mécs.  Several civil activists also showed up, including Sándor Mária, the so-called “nurse in black”.

The speakers, who included MOMA chairman Bokros and legal expert György Magyar, took turns denouncing government plans to modify the constitution for the sixth time since its adoption in 2011 so as to make it possible for the government to declare a state of emergency related to terrorism without consulting other branches of government.

Andrea Katona, the former director of the National Széchényi Library, said that

“We are living in a country in which a political group consisting of so many people passes laws which are not good for anyone apart from themselves.  They can do so because who dares to object. If you don’t climb into politics, then later politics will climb into you.

“At present you are living a life in which you are afraid of everything,” Katona said. “You are afraid because you might lose your job, your flat, your existence, your family, your money, your physical well-being, even your life.  But there’s one thing you’re forgetting.  If you remain like this, you will lose your spine, and that grows back very slowly.  It is better, if you can, to lose your sense of self worth along with your spine, your pride and your ability to think, as well as the ancient sense of justice you were born with.  Only the fear remains!  For decades!” said the speaker.

“When will they vote themselves the right of the first night, and when will the new feudal lords appear armored in orange sheepskin with the right of high justice?” he continued.

“From the beginning Orbán has played the knight errant.  He sees imagined enemies everywhere and enjoys the role of defender of the country. And now he thinks that the time has come when he can introduce total dictatorship of one individual, and reign in a situation where not even the remaining, emasculated laws can obstruct him.

“We are in the hands of a person who has mental problems. I know that in the days of old, primitive people respected those who were crazy, but they were not the ones leading the tribe. It shouldn’t be that way with us either!” Katona concluded her speech by quoting Gandhi:

“Remember that all through history, there have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they seem invincible. But in the end, they always fall. Always.”

As in the case of previous demonstrations held in Kossuth tér, most of the protestors appeared to be in their 40s, 50s and 60s.

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