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Hundreds Commemorate George Floyd’s Death in Budapest

Hungary Today 2020.06.08.

Hundreds of people commemorated George Floyd’s death and demonstrated against racism and police brutality in Budapest on Sunday. With a strong police presence, the demonstration ended peacefully without incident.

People gathered at Liberty Square(Szabadság tér) in front of the U.S. Embassy to mourn George Floyd, who died two weeks ago as a policeman knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes, and “to stand together in solidarity with all victims of racism globally, for justice and unity, for systemic radical positive change.”

The organizers also highlighted on the event’s Facebook page that they wanted to create a peaceful demonstration in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Hundreds of people attended the commemoration.

“We are in solidarity with all the victims of the current system,” musician and activist G Ras (Gergely Komáromy), one of the organizers of the event, said in his opening speech. “Our enemies are not people or leaders of other political opinions, our enemy is the system in which we live,” he added.

Following Komáromy, speakers emphasized in their short speeches the necessity to combat systemic racism on a daily basis, arguing that “we need to find compassion and solidarity within ourselves- that is the only way to bring about change.”

After the speeches, participants paid their respects to George Floyd and other victims of racism and police brutality by kneeling in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

After the commemoration, U.S. Ambassador David Cornstein issued a statement of support for the Budapest demonstration.

“Here in Budapest, we support the rights of those who have gathered peacefully before our Embassy today to protest against racism,” Cornstein said, adding, “we fully stand by the message that racism has no place in our world.”

The demonstration was followed by a protest against anti-Roma racism in Hungary, also in Liberty Square. In her speech, Emőke Both, President of the BAGázs Public Benefit Association, talked about the consequences of poverty and exclusion spanning generations. She asked the audience to observe the signs of unseen difficulties, and to address not only the symptoms, but also the causes.

Featured photo by Jeórjiosz Kefalasz/EPA/MTI