An anti-war demonstration has been announced in Budapest for Saturday, April 2, the day before election day. The main goal of “Let’s end it once and for all!” is to “show support for a free and independent Ukraine and protest Viktor Orbán’s betrayal and scheming,” write the organizers of the One Million for a Free Ukraine and Péter Juhász, the former chair of the Együtt party.
In a rousing speech last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on all to stand up for Ukraine, organize demonstrations and street protests against Russian aggression, and march with visible symbols of support for the country.
Leave your offices, your homes, your schools and your universities… Go out into the squares and streets. Be visible and make yourself heard.
-urged President Zelenskyy to all supporters of a free Ukraine.
The demonstration being organized on Szabad sajtó (Free Press) Road appears to be a direct response to his call to action.
Unlike in other countries, however, domestic politics gives a special relevance to Hungary’s planned demonstration.
Protesters will not only show their opposition to Putin’s war, but also against Viktor Orbán. The Hungarian Prime Minister says he wants to remain “neutral,” while “the leaders of Europe’s democratic countries have all expressed solidarity with the Ukrainian people,” as text states on the event’s Facebook page.
Of course, this won’t be the first demonstration or protest to be held in Hungary in connection with the Russian aggression towards Ukraine.
On February 24, the day the war broke out, opposition leader Péter Márki-Zay prayed for peace together with thousands of protesters in front of the Russian Embassy in Budapest. A few days later, a demonstration was organized in front of the building of the Russian “spybank,” the International Investment Bank, with protesters chanting, “Go home, Russians!”
The united opposition then held a protest in front of the headquarters of state broadcaster MTVA, accusing public media of not featuring opposition politicians, and pushing Russian and Putin propaganda about the sitution in Ukraine to an unacceptable level.
Other visible shows of support have also been held in addition to these demonstrations, such as Budapest leadership illuminating Fishermen’s Bastion in Ukraine’s blue and yellow colors, and Momentum unveiling large banners that read, “Hungary will not be a Russian colony.”
[Telex][Image: Legyen végre vége! / Facebook]