Photo of the Week: Protest

protestPolice barricade set up within a one block radius of the protest.

With the new year a new constitution in Hungary has come into place. For the most part, the changes are moving this country backwards. The last election in 2010 left the country with one party in power which has 2/3 majority making it virtually impossible to stop anything detrimental to the country being passed.

Last night, Prime Minister Viktor Orban, celebrated the new “Basic Law”, at a gala at the Opera House in Budapest. This led to groups of protesters gathering outside the opera house to make their voices heard.

I happened to be in the area last night. It was crazy. The police presence was so intimidating. They had set up a barricade surround the Opera house. No one could go inside the area. I needed to go some place close to the opera house. Thankfully a police officer took pity on us and let us through.

Hit the jump for further photos and news coverage.

barricadeLooking up Andrassy St towards the Opera House. You can see the police barricade.

From what I have read, the main points that Hungarians are protesting are:

  • The constitution tightens the government’s grip on the news media and the courts and dismantles democratic aspects of the judiciary
  • Changes the country’s name from “the Republic of Hungary” to simply “Hungary.”
  • The inclusion of social issues – like the rights of the unborn child, marriage between a man and a woman, and the definition of life sentences – which critics argue should be left to ethical debates within society
  • The law’s protection of the life of a fetus from the moment of conception was also seen as clearing the way for a possible future ban or restrictions on abortions.

It is definitely interesting seeing all of this unfolding before my eyes. It is like I’m watching history in the making. Only time will show what happens here.

For further coverage read articles on BBC, The Telegraph, and the NY Times 

Check out a photo gallery on BBC.

Adelina’s Note – sorry about the poor quality in photo. My camera on my phone doesn’t do so well at night and I was trying to take photos in a non obvious manner.