“You have signed it, János. Now the city will burn,” chanted more than 1,000 protesters who are gathering outside President János Áder’s offices and are growing in number, according to reports by Index journalists. Budapest police are calling for calm as the young and visibly infuriated crowd hold an illegal protest in the Castle District, outside the Sándor Palace. President Áder signed deeply troubling legislation, which will lead to the deliberate and calculated shuttering of Central European University in Budapest.
Movingly, the protesters began singing Hungary’s most canonical protest song, entitled “If I were a rose,” (Ha én rózsa volnék), even though many and perhaps most of those protesting were not even born when democrats sang that during the final years of the Kádár regime, before 1989.
But it is not the just the young protesters who are using language that has not been seen in the last seven years, since the establishment of Viktor Orbán’s Regime of National Cooperation (NER). MP with the Politics Can Be Different green party (LMP), Ákos Hadházy, declared that even President Áder’s grandchildren will now bear the burden and responsibility for what he has done.
“His grandchildren will live with the shame, that their granddaddy executed the university,” declared Mr. Hadházy.
Former Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány also used very strong language: he labelled President Áder a criminal, like the rest of the people in the Orbán regime.
As the protest outside Sándor Palace grew, the 444.hu website reported that the crowd began calling President Áder a “mustachioed piece of shit.” The protesters also hindered the public broadcaster, M1, from reporting at the protest, as it is a mouthpiece of the regime and has demonstrated a total lack of journalistic integrity. Protesters covered the camera with a Hungarian flag.
I am going to reiterate what I mentioned before in my earlier article today: these protests have no leader and no clear direction. The opposition parties are absolutely not controlling the situation. For Mr. Orbán, this has the potential to become the most dangerous scenario of all.