Hungarian content creators organize a demonstration like no other

February 17. 2024. – 06:53 PM



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The demonstration held in Budapest's Heroes' Square on Friday, under the title "There Are Monsters Outside", was a unique and historic event, Dániel Mikecz, political scientist, movement researcher and senior research fellow of the Centre for Social Science Research (Társadalomtudományi Kutatóközpont) told Qubit. According to the expert, there is no international precedent for social media content creators organising an offline demonstration to protest against a public policy issue. Friday's demonstration, which the organisers say attracted at least 50,000 people, set an international example.

The event was put together by nine content creators from all spectrums of social media in response to the scandal that's been shaking Hungary for the past two weeks: it was on 2 February, that the information surfaced that on account of the Pope’s visit to Hungary last April, President Katalin Novák gave a presidential pardon to the former deputy director of a children’s home who had been convicted of helping cover up the paedophile crimes of the institution’s director, which went on for years. This eventually led to the resignations of both Novák and former justice minister, Judit Varga, who had countersigned the decision.

In announcing the event, the organizers said: "We've had enough. Regardless of political affiliation, we believe it is important for us as civilians to raise our voices in defense of the victims, in support of transparency, human decency and honest social dialogue. We are desperate." They further stated that they believe that

what has happened goes beyond the person and responsibility of the President and the former Minister of Justice. The state has abandoned the most vulnerable and the most destitute children by entrusting them to an abusive director,"

they said.

In the days leading up to the demonstration, more than a hundred Hungarian public figures had joined the cause and expressed their support for the event: artists, writers, musicians, actors, designers alike.

"We entrusted raising these children to society, and unfortunately we have failed" – said Márton Gulyás, one of the organizers and host of the demonstration at the beginning of the event.

"Child abuse and paedophilia are not acceptable, so character assassination funded by billions of state funds shouldn't be acceptable either" – Attila Baukó, aka Azahriah, currently Hungary's most popular musician, told the audience in a video message.

Orsi Tapasztó said that as an adoptive parent, she doesn't even dare to think about what may have happened to her child before he came to her family. She thanked all those who are helping these children to learn to love and asked that “all children may live in safety.”

Perhaps the most powerful speaker at the event, Edina Pottyondy, painted a picture of "the monster state", where it is not known who else other than "those helping paedophile abusers and members of the far right". has been set free by the "clemency mafia".

"The state from which we do not demand that it treat us as citizens, as human beings, turns orphans into prey and the rest into slaves," she said.

"This is not the end of the road, but it is a good start", because it shows that "normalcy has a footing", she said. If this is not the last time, but the first time we are standing up, then "there is hope". "Let's get Hungarian society on our side", she said in closing.

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