“Yes to the Student City, no to the Chinese University Giant” was the motto of the demonstration, which was triggered by a scandal around the planned Budapest campus of the Fudan University of China. The organisers were expecting thousands of people; Gergely Karácsony also spoke.
The announcement by the Orbán government that the Chinese Fudan University would open a campus in Budapest has stirred up a lot of emotions in Hungary. The university, which declared to service the Chinese Communist Party in its document, would be located in the planned Student City area, but this fact alone did not cause the outrage: the cost of the investment was more than 500 billion forints. You can read more HERE and HERE.
Roughly 2-3 thousand protesters gathered in a peaceful atmosphere on Andrássy Avenue. The crowd was allowed to enter the area in a very specific way, in accordance with the preliminary announcement: the immunised people were able to enter the event area from Kodály Körönd and from Rippl-Rónai Street. Those who did not yet have an immunity certificate gathered on both sides of the service road on the section between Rippl-Rónai Street and the Heroes’ Square underground exits on Andrássy Avenue.
The protesters brought all sorts of signs with them, with messages like “we will not be a Chinese colony” and a sign labelled “O1 is the nation’s executioner.” The weather was excellent on the location, with no trace of the hail predicted in advance.
- The protesters were gathering on Andrássy Avenue from 3 p.m. and marched to Kossuth Square after 4 p.m. Speeches there begun at about 5:30 p.m.
- Participants in the demonstration, if they did not have a certificate of immunity, gathered in groups of up to 500 people, while the ones who do formed a separate, larger group.
- The event was organised by András Jámbor. “Demonstration for the Student City, against Fidesz!” was proclaimed as a key phrase in the process. He was backed by several opposition parties and politicians.
- The police took note of this and indicated that it complied with the epidemiological measures in force.
- Krisztina Baranyi, the Mayor of Ferencváros; András Jámbor, the organiser of the demonstration; and Gergely Karácsony, the Lord Mayor of Budapest, spoke at Kossuth Square.
- Áron Bereczki (Student Union), Márton Gede, and Sándor Őze (The City is for Everyone, From Street to Apartment Association, Street Lawyer) gave speeches.
“We are the majority here,” Krisztina Baranyi, the Mayor of Ferencváros, started her speech, then took a selfie with the crowd.
According to her, in the case of the foundation operating the university, the state will not have majority ownership, so the investment is not subject to public procurement rules – we are witnessing a private company being created from public funds.
Krisztina Baranyi also spoke to the Fidesz voters; the phrase “dear KDNP mass base” provoked laughter and applause from the crowd.
“The Fudan case is Fidesz’s ultimate and complete moral suicide. […] The Fudan case reveals that all their words are lies, that all their adherence to values is just cunning. This reveals that nothing is sacred to them,” said Gergely Karácsony.
As the Lord Mayor of Budapest changed the subject to the significance of the 2022 election, he promised those present that he would take part in the opposition pre-election and the parliamentary elections.
Meanwhile, only news of the traffic chaos caused by the demonstration was published in the pro-government media, while during the demonstration, they only got to the point where László Palkovics’s deputy considered the event to be political hysteria.
Source: hvg.hu; index.hu; népszava.hu; origo.hu