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Budapest police shut down Solidarity demonstration

Citing an “impossible goal” as the reason, police prevented labor union-supported Solidarity movement from holding a demonstration in front of the Budapest Opera House yesterday where 1956 revolutionary Imre Mécs was scheduled to speak.

Solidarity (Szolidaritás) reportedly notified the police on October 20 that it would hold a demonstration in Andrássy avenue and repeatedly asked the police whether further permits were required.  On the day of the event police informed demonstrators that the Center for Counter-Terrorism (TEK) had ordered the area be closed to the public. Because demonstrations must be reported 72 hours beforehand, it was not possible for Solidarity to secure an alternative location in time for October 23’s national commemoration of the martyrs of the 1956 uprising.

Solidarity called “outrageous and pitiful” the fact that “the authorities dare not look into the eyes of its citizens”, and “with every step the government comes to better resemble the very times it strongly condemns”.

Illés Szurovecz :