Momentum supporters gathered on Kossuth Square to set up a “terrace” protesting the government’s “privatization” of universities. Bernadett Szél, Miklós Hajnal, and Anna Orosz spoke to a live stream about why they were there, arguing that while political gatherings are not allowed in Hungary, terraces and soccer matches can reopen.
The intention of Momentum’s gathering was not to appear as a political demonstration, but a makeshift terrace from where they could protest the Hungarian government’s “privatization” of universities. The ruling parties’ majority has transfered various state assets to “public interest asset management foundations,” removing the state’s oversight of hundreds of billions in public funds.
Miklós Hajnal, Momentum’s spokesperson, described the conversion of public universities into foundations as “the most severe crime of the last thirty years.” Despite wanting to protest it, and despite 22-thousand-person football matches being allowed, he said, there is still a ban on large gatherings.
Prime Minister Viktor Orbán announced
in his April 23 interview with Kossuth Rádió that once Hungary reaches 4 million inoculations, football matches will be allowed to host to their maximum capacity. The goal, requiring only first-time vaccinations, was reached on Saturday.
Independent MP Bernadett Szél with other protesters. Photo via Momentum Movement’s Facebook page
In the manner of a flash mob, the protestors quickly set up tables and chairs in front of the parliament, and then held up signs of Cabinet Minister Antal Rogán as well as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, accusing them of stealing public property.
Police showed up to speak to the protestors about the event, but no legal action was taken.
In the featured photo, Momentum members stand in front of the parliament protesting the privatization of universities into foundations, with a sign that reads “Theft of public property: Treason!” Featured photo via Momentum Movement’s Facebook page.