Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
After walking 196.8 km in eight days in icy cold and windy weather, this afternoon the Hunger March reached its destination in front of Parliament in the capital Budapest. I was there, be,low some photos with commentary.

The Hunger March had about a dozen core participants who walked all the way, joined by a few dozens more each day. On the last kilometres, however, the crowd swelled to about 500.

At the head of the crowd: the core members. Some of them carried the placards and flags all the way – now that's tiresome.

The Hunger March was the idea of a single jobless man, but all opposition NGOs and parties rushed to make themselves noticed with participation in some form. Although the union umbrella group Szolidaritás gave most help from the NGO side, the Socialists did most to get the limelight among the parties, with the MSzP boss of Borsod region marching all the way as one of the core members and MP István Nyakó walked most sections. Perhaps that's why LMP (the Greens) didn't join the end of the march with flags, but they did greet them with food a kilometre before the end.

After the LMP stand, the marchers rolled out a big banner with the same slogan as on the tables (and in somewhat eery chants): "[We want] Work, Bread!"

The march was received by a few hundred more people. Notice the letters "MSZP" – that's the welcoming banner of the Socialists.

The attempted humiliation of the protesters by the powers-that-be was on everyone's mind. Here one protester holds a table with the name of the town where it happened, and another holds a snow shovel.

The core members of the Hunger March needed some rest, they could barely walk and had difficulties climbing the tribune. Here is the jobless former steel smelter worker who thought up the Hunger March, Imre Tóth, before climbing the steps:

Tóth was joined by all the members of the core group, including a dog:

Tóth again, after the snow shovel was handed to him during his short address:

On the final photo below, the guy who was given the alcoholised tea speaks – he's actually a young programmer from Budapest (the sole core group member not from Borsod) and represented an NGO:

Of the speeches, two things Socialist MP István Nyakó said captivated me.

One was his plea that the future disposal of the Orbán regime not be based solely on the ideal of freedom, but also on the ideals of equality and solidarity (Nyakó did criticise former Socialist and austerian PM Gyurcsány with a social line).

The other was that he reported that he went ahead of the protesters to enter Parliament and rose to deliver a question, but the Fidesz speaker of parliament told him: "We can wait until you change your clothes." The same arrogance as in Mezőkövesd.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Mon Feb 13th, 2012 at 01:50:57 PM EST
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