Student organisations held a demonstration in Budapest on Friday, protesting for wage hikes for teachers, and called for the withdrawal of planned changes to their employment status and other planned regulations. Protesters marched from Kossuth Square in front of Parliament to Oktogon Square, carrying banners reading “History is written by youth”, “We also have a heartbeat” and “All power belongs to the people”, and waving EU and Hungarian flags, as well as those representing the teachers’ movements. Flags of the Tanítanék movement and teachers’ trade unions were also to be seen. Opposition politicians Ákos Hadházy (independent), Bence Tordai and Tímea Szabó of Párbeszéd, András Fekete-Győr, Anna Orosz and Miklós Hajnal of Momentum also joined the protest, among others.
Budapest police (BRFK) have reported that a small group of demonstrators had tried to disrupt the demo. After the demonstration, a smaller group marched to the headquarters of ruling Fidesz near Heroes’ Square, where police cordoned off both sidewalks. BRFK reported that some protesters were trying to “intentionally provoke” police. Participants of the “unlawful protest” tried to push through the police line and threw bottles and other objects, while verbally provoking them, the statement said.
Commenting on the demonstration, ruling Fidesz said the party was fully on board with the notion of a wage hike for teachers. “Leftist politicians earn 5-6 million a month to stop teachers getting 800,000 forints,” the party said in a statement. Had Hungary received the EU funds it is “entitled to”, teachers would have already had their raise, the party said. Leftist politicians drawing large salaries are working in the EU to block those resources, the statement said.