Budapest (MTI) – A demonstration with the slogan “We belong to Europe”, organised by the Momentum Movement, was held in the capital on Monday evening, on the 13th anniversary of Hungary’s EU accession.
Momentum Movement leader András Fekete-Győr told the crowd assembled in Heroes’ Square that his party would run in the 2018 general election. He said the party would announce its election programme on October 15.
Fekete-Győr said that over the coming year Momentum would do everything it can to “tear down the regime of fear”.
Organisers handed out anti-government stickers to protesters, which Fekete-Győr said they should use to “correct government propaganda billboards” on their way home, referring to the billboards advertising the government’s national consultation.
Prior to assembling in Heroes’ Square, protesters gathered in central Budapest’s Szabadság Square. Participants held up banners, including one calling for a “Corruption-free Hungary!” and another one that read “We are living in a lie”.
Addressing the crowd in Szabadság Square, Momentum spokesman Miklós Hajnal said freedom was running out in Hungary. There should be no Soviet monument on the square, he said. Hajnal said they would not yield to Russian pressure, adding that Hungary is part of Europe.
Participants marched from Szabadság Square along Andrássy Avenue to Heroes’ Square, carrying at the front a national flag, a flag of the European Union and one of the Momentum Movement party. The crowd started marching to the sounds of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, the EU’s official anthem.
In the invitation to the event, organisers said they were inviting everyone who feels that Hungarians belong to Europe rather than Moscow.
“Russia is closer than we’d think. A system of fear following the Russian model is being established in Hungary. They may have taken their tanks, but they have crept back through the gas pipelines, the fake news portals and the political elite”, organisers wrote.
The Momentum Movement was established as a civil group in the spring of 2015.
Earlier this year it gathered over 260,000 signatures with a view to securing a local referendum on whether Budapest should host the 2024 Olympics, twice the number necessary to trigger a plebiscite.
The government later decided to withdraw Budapest’s bid, citing a “lack of national unity” on the issue.
Momentum voted to become a political party in early March.