Hundreds of people protested Hungary’s lockdown restrictions on Monday at various locations. While the far-right Mi Hazánk party began its demonstrations in front of the Tropicana Casino on Vigadó Street, coronavirus skeptic vlogger György Gődény and libertarian politician Áron Ecsenyi’s followers protested in front of the parliament. Due to the unlawful gatherings, Budapest police charged 300 people with various offenses.
Speaking into a megaphone in front of the Tropicana Casino, László Toroczkai, leader of the far-right Mi Hazánk Movement (Our Homeland), called on the government to allow Hungarians to work if they wish. According to Toroczkai, the government measures are faulty, the virus travels fastest at vaccinations points, and most people only die from it because they are already afflicted with another sickness.
Mi Hazánk Movement Calls on Taxation of Vaccine Producers
Toroczkai, who believes the “censorship” happening now is worse than the censorship of the Hungarian press in 1848, stated that people such as Bill Gates are profiting off the virus, and that the World Bank is trying to create a new world order.
Toroczkai announced 6 decrees which his party calls on the Orbán government to do. These include allowing Hungarians to work if they wish, allowing those who fear the virus to stay home, not to have mandatory vaccination in Hungary, not to close schools, not to allow the government to take on more loans, and to, using the money from the “epidemic solidarity tax”, raise wages and help struggling businesses.
Referring to the tax mentioned in the latter point, Toroczkai calls for the taxation of casinos, pharmaceutical companies, vitamin manufacturers, and retail chains.
After the politician’s speech the protestors walked to the Hungarian Parliament building.
Libertarian Protests in Front of the Parliament
Áron Ecsenyi, leader of the libertarian Down with 75% of Taxes party, gathered his supporters at Kossuth Square in front of the Parliament Building.
He made a similar speech to that of Toroczkai, calling for the government to lift restrictions which, according to him, do not lead to any beneficial results.
Ecsenyi also stated in his speech that radical left wing communist powers have controlled the functioning of Europe for the past year.
Gődény’s Anti-Lockdown Imitation of the 12 points
György Gődény, a popular influencer known for his clear opposition to Hungary’s healthcare professionals, also took part in the protests with his followers in front of the Hungarian Parliament Building.
The pandemic skeptics continued to the Hungarian National Museum’s Museum Garden, where Gődény shared his anti-lockdown version of the historic 12 points declared at that same location 173 years prior. He shared the specific decrees on his Facebook page.
Protestors Criticize the “Police State” of Hungary
In a video recorded by independent news portal Telex, the protestors can be seen in close proximity to one another, criticizing the “police state” of Hungary, calling for the lifting of restrictions, and placing the coronavirus on the same level of danger as the common flu.
Liberal news portal 444.hu recorded protestors stating their support for the six decrees by the far-right party and sharing the various conspiracy theories they have towards the pandemic. One of them called on the government to lift all restrictions, as nature will take care of the rest of the problem.
Hungarian Police Responded Quickly
In response to the demonstrations, Hungarian police quickly surrounded protestors on Vigadó Street and those in front of the Parliament Building, only letting them out after conducting background checks.
Police allegedly struck one Mi Hazánk leader with a rubber baton after seeing the party’s flyers in his car. The police later denied that the incident happened.
According to the report made by Budapest’s police department, the illegal gathering resulted in police filing reports for 300 individuals.
273 of these reports were for being present at the gathering, the rest for breaking rules around masks, or both rules around gathering and rules around masks.
Two people were charged for being in possession of a dangerous item and four were charged for organizing the event.
Same Goals, Different Approaches
Monday’s protestors could be split into three different groups. Those in support of Áron Ecsenyi’s libertarian party, far-right supporters of the Mi Hazánk Movement, and pandemic-skeptics in support of György Gődény.
Gődény called on his supports to attend a separate event on March 13 at Kossuth square. In a livestream held on March 14 on his Facebook page, Gődény added that he would not attend the Mi Hazánk protests, since he does not believe the his and Toroczkai’s parties are in line with one another.
Meanwhile Áron Ecsenyi announced that he will be present at Kossuth Square, but not in support of Mi Hazánk. Still, Ecsenyi can be seen next to Toroczkai during his speech in front of the Tropicana Casino.
In the featured photo illustration: Mi Hazánk leader László Toroczkai. Photo by Balázs Mohai/MTI