Thousands Of Hungarians In “Freedom March” Against Government

Thursday, March 16, 2023 | Tag Cloud

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By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News reporting from Budapest

BUDAPEST (Worthy News) – Thousands of students, teachers, and other critics have rallied in Budapest against Hungary’s perceived autocratic government to demand more freedom and educational reforms.

Wednesday’s protest came on the 175th anniversary of Hungary’s 1848 Revolution against domination by the Habsburg-led Empire of Austria.

Dubbed a “freedom march” by organizers, the protest involved teachers’ unions and student groups who have pressured Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for months to ensure more freedom in education.

They also demand wage increases and better working conditions for teachers. In addition, they called for the repeal of legislation that restricts or prohibits teachers’ right to strike.

Katalin Törley, a teacher dismissed from a secondary school in Budapest after working there for 23 years, told protesters that Hungary had become an “extremely centralized authoritarian system.” She noted that the government has taken away autonomy from those who work in the public sphere.

The demonstration also came after more revelations that the government used Israeli spyware to spy on hundreds of perceived domestic opponents.


The liberal green mayor of Budapest, Gergely Karácsony, told the rally that it was time for “free cities.”

With protests underway, Orbán broke his tradition of giving a speech in Budapest and instead spoke to supporters in the small town of Kiskoros, a two hours drive from the capital.

He held his address near the childhood home of Sandor Petofi, one of Hungary’s most significant poets instrumental in instigating the Hungarian Revolution in 1848.

Orbán praised Petofi’s fight against European ruling powers, referencing the European Union. The prime minister is at odds with Brussels over the rule of law and corruption affecting Hungary’s attempts to receive billions of euros in EU funding.

Also in Budapest, a far-right party rallied against the planned NATO military alliance expansion to Sweden and Finland, on which the Hungarian parliament will vote in the coming days.

Orbán reluctantly supports expansion but stresses he supports a ceasefire and peace negotiations to end the war in Ukraine and adds he is against more sanctions targeting Russia, which invaded the country in February last year.

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