Protest organizers Zoltán Vajda (left) and Balázs Gulyás (right) are organizing a protest for March 15th called “New Hungarian Republic.” Some 7,000 people have posted RSVPs on the event’s Facebook page inviting “everyone for whom democracy and a common Europe are important values.” Among the speakers will be Zoltán Kész, the independent civil candidate who won the recent by-election in Veszprém, and actor János Kulka.
Vajda told ATV Start Friday morning that the fact the body of protesters would march from the Eastern train station to Astoria was of symbolic importance because “the fight today in Hungary is not between the left and the right, but between the eastern orientation and western orientation.” He said “we are going to march from east to west in the literal physical sense.”
According to a statement issued by the event organizers, “Fidesz stole the republic even from the name of our homeland, and for this reason we want a new republic.” Vajda believes March 15th is a special occasion, saying “we are going to commemorate 1848 and the republic that Orban destroyed, even though there is not reason to celebrate.”
“We need a new Hungarian Republic where they don’t throw those with nothing into the gutter, but lift them up,” reads the statement. Vajda believes it is not the past 25 years but the past 5 years against which they must struggle, while acknowledging that “it is also necessary to repair the mistakes of the previous 20 years preceding the (current) Fidesz government.”
The demonstration starts at 3 pm on Sunday at the Eastern train station. The main hosts of the event will be actors Andrea Fullajtár and János Kulka. The first speaker with be Solidarity Movement activist István Káposznyák. “He is coming from the east (Debrecen) in a literal physical sense,” says Vajda.
He will be followed by Zoltán Kész, a western-minded politician who defeated Fidesz and who “will speak like the hero of folk legends.”
Following this the crowd will march to the Astoria hotel where at 4 pm Kossuth prize-winning poet and playwright Lajos Parti Nagy will take the stage. He will be followed by Network for Academic Freedom activist Emila Nagy and musician Peter Závada, whose son, a poet, will read one of his own poems.
Afterwards, civil women government activist Ágnes Pletser will speak, followed by actor Janos Kulka, who will sing a song before delivering a short speech. Kulka will be followed by international legal expert Tamás Lattmann. Protest organizers Gulyás and Vajda will deliver their speeches at the end of the protest.
Vajda sends the following message: “We welcome whoever does not want to celebrate the holiday with [Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor] Orbán in the museum garden among paid students or those promised a free lunch.” Although the demonstration is organized by civils, any party or activist group is also welcome, added Vajda.