The ‘Mi Hazánk’ movement announced that they would organize a protest against “excessive closures” on March 15th. However, the decision received criticism arguing that the demonstration is clearly not appropriate when the epidemiological situation is continuously deteriorating.
“We the yoke of slavery/No more shall wear”- the motto of Mi Hazánk’s protest was taken from one of the most popular Hungarian poems, Sándor Petőfi’s National Song, and therefore is a reference to the 1848 revolution which started on March 15th, though likening the situation of Hungarians fighting for their rights in the Habsburg Empire to closures introduced to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, is undoubtedly far-fetched.
Mi Hazánk, a far-right party formed by ex-Jobbik members, is planning to gather with NGOs at the historical Vigadó Square in the capital, demanding an epidemic solidarity tax on companies that have benefited from the situation, and then afterwards march to the Parliament.
“Although it is not forbidden to walk together in masks and keep a distance of one and a half meters, anyone who is fined for their participation during the demonstration, we have started a fundraising campaign for them,” they wrote.
The use of “walk” instead of demonstration is not a coincidence, as due to the state of emergency, no protests can be held in Hungary.
The party considers the government’s new closures to be inconsistent and unreasonable; they argue that at the end of November, the government did not impose any further restrictions on the same number of daily infections, even though everyone knew at the time that vaccination would not be more widely available for months.
And now – as they put it – the government is bringing arguably the strictest closure so far, just as they claim that Hungary will have the highest vaccination rate in the EU next week. Under these circumstances, several European neighbors have opted for opening up, and the surrounding countries are generally subject to lighter rules, they added. However, the fact is that the epidemic situation has never been this severe in Hungary.
Not everyone agreed with the initiative proposed by the far-right political party. Another former Jobbik politician, János Bencsik, founder of Polgári Válasz (Civic Answer) Movement, argued in a Facebook post that neither order nor human life matters to Mi Hazánk anymore, and likened their demonstration to Russian roulette, as with the number of hospitalized and those on ventilators are at an all-time high and more and more people are getting infected every day, such an event poses serious health risks.
The former Jobbik party member also criticized coronavirus skeptic vlogger György Gődény, who also recently organized a protest against Covid restrictions at Budapest’s Heroes’ Square. Around a thousand people attended the event, most of them without facemasks.
In the featured photo: Mi Hazánk leader László Toroczkai. Photo by Balázs Mohai/MTI