One of the founders of NowUs!, Zsolt Várady, has announced he will no longer take part in organizing protests and political activism, citing personal reasons as well as some disagreements concerning the objectives within the organization. At the same time, he dismissed allegations that the decision was a result of political pressure or unfavorable feedback following the January 2 demonstration. Várady announced that he will continue to work on a social media website to offer a forum for new, anti-government and anti-establishment political activists.
In a statement published on his personal Facebook page, Várady wrote:
“Although our objective remains the same, and we can cooperate effectively, (NowUs! co-founder Bori Takacs and I) often disagree on the timing and form of implementation. This and the enormous expectations and responsibility placed on us generated such tensions that did not have a good effect on us and our whole activity.”
Originally a website developer, and the founder of a now-discontinued Hungarian social media site WiW, Várady delivered a speech calling for fair taxation and the end of corruption at the demonstration against a proposed internet tax in October. Then Várady announced he was starting an initiative MostMi! (NowUs!) that would try to gather anti-government activist groups and civil organizations as well as build a purpose-based social media website for the protesters.
After his radical speech Várady often became the main target of pro-government media outlets. HírTV revealed that he had been convicted for possession of a very small amount of marijuana. Despite negative information surfacing, Várady is one of the defining figures of the recent anti-government protests.
As many were expecting NowUs! organizers to announce the formation of a new political movement last Saturday, Várady’s announcement was disappointing for them. Already after the January 2 protest, whose presenters fell short of expectations, columnists as well as ordinary commenters noted that they could not see in which direction the new movement is going.
Várady’s response has been accepted by NowUS! organizers, who emphasized that the next advertised demonstration on February 2, a day before German Chancellor Angel Merkel’s short visit is scheduled, will be held as planned.
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