There have been further anti-government protests in Hungary during commemorations of the 1956 uprising against Soviet rule. The 50th anniversary of the unsuccessful revolt was marred by violent clashes between demonstrators and riot police. While tens of thousands of anti-government protestors marched peacefully though Budapest, small groups of mainly far-right militants had to be pushed back by police using teargas and rubber bullets.
Several people were arrested and dozens were injured. Authorities blame a core group of extremists for the violent outbreaks. The demonstrators had gathered at city landmarks, including the square outside parliament where official celebrations were underway.
Monday’s events began with dignitaries taking turns to place white roses at the black marble monument to the uprising outside parliament, before heading inside to adopt a declaration of freedom. Meanwhile, protesters seized a Soviet-era tank – on show for the commerations – and drove it at police lines. The anniversary was meant to be a day of unity and celebrations for all Hungarians.
But the country remains divided following a month of rallies in the wake of the prime minister’s declaration that he lied to win this year’s general election.