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Hungary: Protests criticize Government, including over Roma integration

26.5.2017 7:52
One of the speakers at the anti-Government protest in Budapest, Hungary on 21 May, the director of Romaversitas, Henriett Dinók (PHOTO:  YouTube)
One of the speakers at the anti-Government protest in Budapest, Hungary on 21 May, the director of Romaversitas, Henriett Dinók (PHOTO: YouTube)

Thousands of people have once again turned out on the streets of Budapest and other towns throughout Hungary to protest the Government of Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his FIDESZ party. The demonstrations on Sunday, 21 May were organized by the civic initiative "Nem maradunk csendben!" (We Will Not Be Silent!).

The actions were held under the slogan "We will not abandon our future, we are staying here!" Those participating in the protests first marched through the center of Budapest and then, as is traditional, marched to the building of the Hungarian Parliament on Kossuth Square.

Several speeches were given there dedicated to the problems that have also been the central focus of previous protests, such as the Hungarian Government's campaigns against the Central European University (CEU), the European Union, and freedom of the media. Criticism also was expressed at the demonstration about the Government's strategy on Roma integration.

The first speaker on Kossuth Square was the director of the Romaversitas Foundation, Romani activist Henriett Dinók, who drew attention to the fact that what the CEU has done for Romani people so far who want to get a university education is much more than what the Hungarian Government has done. Dinók emphasized the importance of NGO activities in the fight for the integration of Romani high school and college students and their equal opportunities on the labor market.

The Romani activist also pointed out that organizations providing support to Romani students are being labeled as "anti-Hungarian" by the current Government, which is endeavoring to prevent them from accessing EU subsidy resources. "It is not Brussels who needs to be stopped," Dinók is convinced, "but the Hungarian oligarchs who are leeching off of our country."

Another speech was made by civic activist Márton Gulyás, who called for democracy and the introduction of a proportional system of voting. Those protesting took the slogan of the Hungarian Government's current campaign, "Let's Stop Brussels" and changed it to "Let's Stop Moscow and Orbán".

adg, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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CEU - Středoevropská univerzita, Hungary, Demonstrace, integration



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