Hungary: Rallying for Iran – and for “Nothing, Never”

Those who were in Hungary during the past few weeks could get quite confused because citizens showed a number of different ways of using rallies as a tool of democracy.

On June 19, about a hundred of Iranian students studying in Hungary held a silent commemoration at Heroes’ Square in Budapest, the Hungarian capital. The rally had been organised via Facebook. The second demonstration, by Hungarian supporters, took place in front of the Iranian Embassy in Budapest on June 21: it was called the Green Flashmob.

The third rally “for democracy and human rights” in Iran was held on June 26, also in front of the Iranian Embassy. On the community blog site Lehet Más a Világ! (“The World Can Be Different!”), Redjade shared information and photos about the June 21 protest and wrote this about the June 26 one:

[…] It was a big contrast from the previous protest last Sunday where there was no police presence, at all. Not only was there a fence this time (borrowed from the Parliament?) but dozens of police including four police vans and six cars. But the entire event was a friendly and calm situation, however. But I wonder if the lower turn out by Iranian students may have been the result of the intimidating police presence. […]

The Hungarian media reported on the meeting between state secretary of foreign affairs Gábor Iklódy and the Iranian ambassador Ali Reza Irvas, after which the Hungarian official declared that the Iranian protestors had the right to protest peacefully and that Hungary was concerned about the restraints placed on the media in Iran.

Also on June 21, a different type of rally took place in Budapest: members and supporters of the Two-Tailed Dog Party (HUN) held a so-called General Demonstration against things that don’t make any sense. The Two-Tailed Dog Party is a fake political party known for its extremely humorous criticism of political issues in Hungary. Some 200-300 people gathered in front of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office: according to the blog (HUN) of the demonstration, the reason was that the existence of this office didn’t make any sense.

On the art blog Képgyár (“Image Factory”), journalist András Földes reported (HUN) on the Two-Tailed Dog Party's demonstration:

[…] ‘What do we want? Nothing! When? Never!’ Protesters in front of the Hungarian Central Statistical Office (KSH) are shouting their demands for long minutes but they can’t gain a hearing. Nobody comes out from the office to receive the petition and to start dialogue.

Though there are enough demands. ‘Let tomorrow be yesterday!’ ‘Dissmiss us!’ ‘Main stage!’ ‘Let's bring everyone who is under the radical sign to a square!’ […]

Some of the users of Képgyár (HUN) mentioned in the comments section that one of the protesters with the ‘Dissmiss us!’ slogan was actually sending a hidden political message about frequent demonstrations against the present Hungarian government that have been taking place since 2006. Others noted that this kind of rallying for nothing already had a cultural background in Europe and represented an anarchist or radical liberal view, which contradicts the main goal: rallying for nothing.

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