4000 demonstrate against corruption in Budapest

December 4, 2014

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20:35  Gábor Vágo announces that the demonstration is over and asks the protesters to go home.  The crowd is obviously enjoying itself and lingers on, eating pretzels and drinking hot wine.

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Sign parodying government propaganda:  “Hungary is collapsing!  Another regime decrease!  We must decrease the corrupt government members by 100%.   magyarorszagosszerogy.kormany.hu.”

20:15  Alliance Against Corruption leader Tibor Karancsi is the last to address the crowd. Announces start of petition to reopen “oil files” referring to the illegal trade in oil and petroleum products that took place during the 1990s in which high-ranking government officials were implicated.  During his speech, cries of “translator!” can be heard in reference to NAV head Ildikó Vida’s ridiculous request for a translator upon meeting the US Chargé d’Affaires outside the US embassy.

20:14   Protesters listening to speakers in front of Presidential Palace.

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20:12  “I’m Paul Tamás, and I don’t have a luxury flat”

  20:10 Vágo is followed by a young man who delivers an angry speech explaining that he recently returned after living in England for five years because he feels he is needed now. protest15 19:52 Former LMP MP Gábor Vágó addresses the crowd.  “The power elite has taken over the country.  Not only do they put their own thieves into the law, not only do they appropriate state assets, but they seriously interfere in the marketplace so that their friends, CBA and Lőrinc Mészáros can get rich!.”  Vágo demands the return of everything from everybody: ground from rags-to-riches gas-pipe fitter Lőrinc Mészáros,  faith in taxation from NAV president Ildikó Vida, tobacco shops from Minister in charge of the Prime Minister’s Office János Lázár and the country from Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. protest14

19:51  Kozmosz performs song about collapse of the “National Cooperation System” which has only benefitted Fidesz officials and their supporters.  One protester says at least tonight’s demonstration has achieved one thing: this is President János Áder’s first punk concert!  Atmosphere is festival-like.  Protesters drinking hot wine and dancing before the stage. 19:39  Protesters arrive at Presidential Palace.  Heavy police presence.  Live concert.

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19:34  Protesters chanting “Dirty Fidesz!”  A number of young people are carrying signs that say “My father isn’t rich”, referring to recent revelations that the ten-year-old son of János Lázár owns a HUF 70 million (USD 290,000) flat in an upscale part of Budapest.   When asked by Abcug.hu reporter Blank Zöldi who they would vote for, they respond “nobody!”

  19:32   Protesters gathered in Castle District.

19:30  Protesters marching through Castle District towards Presidential Palace. protest7 19:24  Protesters marching up main road leading to Castle District. protest13

  19:10  Protesters marching up main road leading to Castle District.

protest3 “We cannot pay as much tax as you steal!”

19:06  Protester recites original piece of protest poetry while crossing Chain Bridge.

 Protest2 “We cannot pay so much tax as you steal!”

protest6 19:05  Thousands of protesters cross Chain Bridge from Pest to Buda.

protest8 19:03  “Mafia government”

  18:57  Thousands of protesters cross Chain Bridge from Pest to Buda.

  18:56   “Money” being distributed at the Chain Bridge.  Only CBA allowed to receive it.

18:50   Many protesters brought their dogs.  One tries to teach a group of dogs to say “Resign”.  Dogs jumping and barking to the rhythm.  “Re-sign!  Re-sign!” 18:48  Public Outrage group leader Gábor Vágo marching with “no oligarch” sign.

protest9 18:46 Protesters partake of pretzels and hot wine in front of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

18:42  “Mikulás” (Santa Claus) passing out candy to protesters.

  18:41  Anti-corruption protesters marching to the Castle District.

 18:40 Crowd chanting “Filthy Fidesz!” referring to political party of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. 18:38  Public Outrage group leader Gábor Vágó holding sign while walking dog.

18:37  Protester holdings sign: “You lying rat! 4 million living in poverty”.

protest4 18:34  Protester carrying “Rotten News TV” sign, refering to state news channel HírTV that has run a series of muckraking reports on various civil activists involved in recent anti-corruption protests.

18:33  Protester collecting alms for NAV head Ildikó Vida.

18:31  Crowd chanting “Viktator, Viktator”  (Derived from (prime minister) “Viktor” (Orbán) and “dictator”) 18:30 Banner says “We cannot pay as much in taxes as they steal!”

protest5 18:25  Protesters chanting “Lázár, Vida, Rendszer hiba!”  (Fidesz MP János Lázár, NAV president Ildikó Vida, system error!) 18:24  VIDEO:  Protesters chanting “Dirty Fidesz!”

18:23  “Let’s leave this puppet theatre.  To the castle!”

  18:23  VIDEO: Protesters marching towards Budapest’s Castle District.

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18:22   Day of Public Outrage organizer Eszter Somló tells crowd “We are many and we won’t tire out!”

18:19   Crowd starts marching in direction of Chain Bridge, Castle District.

18:18   Speaker asks crowd whether NAV head Ildikó Vida “has resigned yet”. protest10

18:17  Former Budapest head mayor Gábor Demszky attends protest with family.

18:16  Crowd upset tax authority scandal hasn’t been resolved yet. 18:15  Crowd agrees with speaker that they don’t want Orbán any more, shouting “thieves!”, “crooks!” 18:13   Speaker calls on crowd to behave in an orderly manner. 18:08   Banner headline:  “Enough!”

18:05   Banner headline mock-ups read:  “Economy, Security, Freedom for Hungary” “Once again they attack your future”.  “Deadly governmental games”  “They’re bleeding public education”  “Cultured education unnecessary”  “Where is the savers’ money?”  “Who benefits from making shops close (on Sundays)?” “Government fails due to corruption: This is the end!”

18:00  A few thousand protesters have gathered in the Kossuth square before the Hungarian parliament.

18:00  Event organizer Balázs Nemes tells crowd “Let’s do it, because there is a need for it.  Now this is a social experience for the people”.

17:52   “Cynical, lying, petty thieves.  Be gone!” protest12

17:50   Plastic red-white-green bracelets on sale for HUF 1000 (USD 4).

17:45  Demonstration starts in 15 minutes.  People gathering loudly in the Kossuth square.  Punk music blaring from the speakers.