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Thousands marching against Orbán's government in Budapest on Friday night

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2018.12.15. 01:12

Thousands marched against Viktor Orbán's government on Friday, which was the third consecutive night of protests prompted by the Parliament's Wednesday legislation - the Overtime Act and the new administrative court system that was set up under strong ministerial oversight, giving rise to worries about Hungary's judicial independence.

Today's protest started at 5:00 PM at Kossuth square in front of the Parliament. Speeches were held by representatives of all political parties, which is unprecedented since Fidesz's 2010 ascension to power. The official event lasted approximately an hour, then the crowd started marching around downtown Budapest momentarily blocking several bridges and high-traffic junctions. Popular chants were "Filthy Fidesz," "We've had enough," and "We came here to do overtime."

The protest was more or less peaceful until the crowd arrived back at Kossuth square, where newly installed CCTV cameras were anticipating the demonstrators' return. Protesters scuffled with the riot-gear-clad police on multiple occasions, sometimes even throwing bottles and firecrackers at them - chants of "Do not hurt the police" managed to calm the mood most of the time, but police did eventually resort to using large amounts of pepper spray and tear gas grenades during the standoff - but tonight's march was generally tamer than the ones on Wednesday and Thursday nights.

More details of the night in this gallery:

Around 11:30 PM snow started falling over Budapest, and people dispersed. A small group of protesters walked to Sándor Palace, then walked around the castle district singing the Ode to Joy, and the protest seems to have more or less ended.

(Cover: Protesters carrying a sign saying "We've had enough" on 14 December 2018. Photo: Huszti István/Index)

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