The United Student Front organized a march on Friday evening in support of Hungarian education titled “Enough of the Contempt” that attracted a large group of students despite wet weather in Budapest. According to the organizers, the march was a response to the lack of any change in the government’s policy on education, and because the government was still unable to meet trade union demands at strike negotiations held on November 7.
But another reason for the march, said organizers, is that Hungary’s publicly-owned media has been silent about the demonstrations taking place in the country and does not inform the public about the real state of Hungarian education.
As a result, the United Student Front gave Hungarian public television an a demand on November 9: an appeal to convince state broadcaster MTVA for them to tell the public on state-owned media why they have been holding various protests over the past few months for Hungary’s teachers.
The students’ demand consisted of four elements: informing the public on state television station M1, at prime time on a weekday, for at least five minutes, and in a live broadcast.
Friday’s demonstration was essentially in support of this goal, and to show that enthusiasm had not run out. Starting at 5:00pm, the demonstrators began in Pest and crossed the Elizabeth Bridge, ending up at Ádám Clark Square. Despite the slight rain, more and more people joined the student march, so that there were several thousand in the crowd by the time they reached Ádám Clark Square.
Students delivered speeches on a small stage in the square, encouraging their peers to join together on Monday and speak out about the problems of their own schools.
Students announced new demands they wanted to see in the field of education, and speaker Lili Mihalics said that students would not give in to threats and humiliation, and would not remain silent.
“We demand that they let us into public television! Anyone who goes out even in the rain to protest is really angry,” said Mihalics.
A member of the United Student Front announced that the next demonstration would be organized on December 9 in front of the public media building. [Magyar Narancs]