Polite student demonstrators gaining sympathy of police
We would welcome these people at the universities but the government wants to take their chances away! At 4pm on Wednesday, 19th of December, secondary school students organized demonstration at the building of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Students’ Network joined them to express solidarity. This solidarity has become one of the main conceptions of the protests nowadays in Budapest. Organizations of teachers and students move together.
They threw the Minister of Education into the Danube – metaphorically. Thousands of people marched across the city to the Margaret bridge where they threw the roses into the river. The flowers represent Rózsa Hoffmann (rózsa = rose) and the people demand her resignation. Here ended the official part of the event and the crowd started to leave. Smaller groups of them gathered on different places in the city center then after a short consultation via phone they agreed to meet on the Chain bridge.
After they occupied the bridge and blocked it from the traffic started a forum but the scene was not the best choice. The attempt to vote about to go to a better place – and where it would be – was unsuccessful due to the lack of sound equipment. Only a few people could hear the moderators but before the assembly went chaotic the police started to act. Three people were taken to custody in spite of the enthusiastic demonstrators who sat down around the police car.
The crowd went furious when the police car left the scene so they headed to the closest police station. As they walked through the city center passing by illustrious restaurants they chanted “Enjoy your meal!” Their other rallying cries also prove a great sense of humour. Even the police were smiling as people yelled “László Kövér must lose weight!” which is pun with the Ministers surname which means fat. However their demands are rightful since the new government tries to destroy the secondary and high education in every possible way. These are the demands of the students:
Six Points of the Hungarian Students
1. We demand the comprehensive restructuring of secondary and higher
2. We demand that the number of state scholarships offered stay at
3. We demand that the government cancel the withdrawal of funds from
universities and that they compensate the withdrawals hitherto enacted.
4. We demand that the government withdraw the contract which restricts
students from working abroad!
5. We demand that the universities’ autonomy be respected.
6. The comprehensive restructuring needs to assure the possibility of
underprivileged students to enter higher education.
Those who were patient enough and waited during the half of the night in the freezing cold showed a really nice attitude towards the police and also proved an unbreakable spirit. Few of them started to play on the guitar while the others sung with him. Someone found a carpet thrown out after a renewal of a flat nearby, and they lied it on the street and sat down. Around 3am the three students were free to go and celebrated by their fellows “You are heros!!!”
They told everybody how nice the police officers were with them they got food – bread and fish – so as they were leaving they quoted from the classic work of Douglas Adams: “So long, and thanks for all the fish!”