Watch: Fresh Demo for Teachers in Hungary - Some Protesters 'Physically Provoke Police'

  • 22 May 2023 5:25 AM
  • Hungary Matters
Watch: Fresh Demo for Teachers in Hungary - Some Protesters 'Physically Provoke Police'
Student organisations held a demonstration in Budapest on Friday, protesting for wage hikes for teachers, and called for the withdrawal of planned changes to their employment status and other planned regulations.

Protesters marched from Kossuth Square in front of Parliament to Oktogon Square, carrying banners reading “History is written by youth”, “We also have a heartbeat” and “All power belongs to the people”, and waving EU and Hungarian flags, as well as those representing the teachers’ movements.

Flags of the Tanítanék movement and teachers’ trade unions were also to be seen. Opposition politicians Ákos Hadházy (independent), Bence Tordai and Tímea Szabó of Párbeszéd, András Fekete-Győr, Anna Orosz and Miklós Hajnal of Momentum also joined the protest, among others.

Budapest police (BRFK) have reported that a small group of demonstrators had tried to disrupt the demo. After the demonstration, a smaller group marched to the headquarters of ruling Fidesz near Heroes’ Square, where police cordoned off both sidewalks.

BRFK reported that some protesters were trying to “intentionally provoke” police. Participants of the “unlawful protest” tried to push through the police line and threw bottles and other objects, while verbally provoking them, the statement said.

Commenting on the demonstration, ruling Fidesz said the party was fully on board with the notion of a wage hike for teachers. “Leftist politicians earn 5-6 million a month to stop teachers getting 800,000 forints,” the party said in a statement.

Had Hungary received the EU funds it is “entitled to”, teachers would have already had their raise, the party said.

Leftist politicians drawing large salaries are working in the EU to block those resources, the statement said.

Budapest Police: Few Hundred Violent Protesters Tried To Break Through Police Line

“An aggressive crowd of few hundred people unceasingly and violently” attempted to break through police lines in a coordinated manner following a student protest in Budapest on Friday evening, the Budapest police headquarters said on its website.

Police checked the identity documents of 15 people and filed reports against two for violent behaviour against an officer, the statement said on Saturday.

Police showed “great patience” and acted in a lawful, professional and proportionate way, it added. The statement confirmed information announced at a press conference late on Friday that two people were apprehended for an alleged violent act against an officer.

The Budapest police has initiated an administrative investigation for abuse of the right of assembly and violations linked to the use of pyrotechnical devices. Investigators will carry out further analysis of recordings made at the unlawful assembly, it said.

After the pre-announced student protest ended on Friday, a group of people moved from Oktogon to Heroes’ Square after 7pm, police said.

They provoked officers verbally at first and later also physically, pushing them and throwing objects at them, including beer cans, plastic bottles, smoke canisters and large metal screws, the statement said.

Police repeatedly instructed them over loudspeakers to stop their unlawful action. Despite the fact that the law on police would have allowed the use of means of coercion, police showed restraint and used only bodily force to hold back “the violent participants of the unlawful assembly”, the statement added.

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