“Civil Unrest in Budapest”

Protest outside of school, originally uploaded by saknicole.

(This photo is of a protest outside of CIB bank across the street from my school. I took the picture leaning out the window after history class)

There is a bit of civil unrest in Budapest you could say. Most of all today. I only went out a bit today, but you definitely noticed the police presence. (not the normal police, but many large groups of swat outfitted police people). However whenever I saw them they were eating, so I wasn’t too worried. I really wanted to take a picture of them, but was a bit frightened to, with the charged situation and all. I also didn’t go looking for the large protests (or any) as talk to water cannons and tear gas easily scared me off.

Here is an expert from an email that the US embassy sent me a few days ago about the protests and “civil unrest”

Demonstration Notice
Spontaneous demonstrations take place in Budapest from time to time in response to world events or local developments.  We remind American citizens that even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possible escalate into violence.  American citizens are therefore urged to avoid the areas of demonstrations if possible, and to exercise caution if within the vicinity of any demonstrations.  American citizens should stay current with media coverage of local events and be aware of their surroundings at all times.  Upcoming demonstration information follows:
On Saturday, September 20, 2008, there will be three large-scale public gatherings.  Each event will include a march by large groups, and police will be posted at the sites and along the march routes.
As with similar events in the past two years, these issues are emotionally-charged and civil unrest has occurred.  Hungarian Police forces have used water canons and tear gas to disperse violent crowds.  Therefore, it is recommended that you avoid areas where there are large crowds and demonstrations.
The three events planned for September 20 are:
  1. Hungarian Charta
This group will march from Clark Adam Square (Buda side circle at the end of the Chain Bridge) to Kossuth Square (Parliament).  The rally’s purpose is to voice concern over increased discrimination, racism, and violence against the community.  Participants in this event will include PM Gyurcsány, Speaker of Parliament Szili, and Budapest Mayor Demszky.  Up to 10,000 persons are expected to participate.  The event begins at Clark Adam Square at 1400 hours – the march to Kossuth Square begins at 1500 hours – the event in Kossuth Square until 1730 hours.
(2)     Roma Community
The National Roma Authority is organizing a march from the Olympic park (in Pest just south of the Margit Bridge) to Kossuth Square (Parliament) to protest anti-Roma incidents committed by far right extremist organizations.  Up to 5,000 persons are expected to participate.  The event will begin at 1300 hours at the Olympic Park – the march to Kossuth Square begins at 1600 hours – events in Kossuth Square until 1800 hours.
(3)     Jobbik, Youth of 64 Counties, Hungarian National Committee 2006, and the Hungarian Self Defense Movement
These groups will protest the Hungarian Government and conduct a tribute to “victims of communism and Roma crimes.”  This event will be led by several persons who have organized prior anti-government demonstrations that have turned violent.  Up to 1,500 persons are expected to participate.  This event will begin at Heroes’ Square at 1400 hours – the march to Szabadság Square begins at 1700 hours – events in Szabadság Square until 2100 hours.
From September 19 at 2000 hours to September 20 at 2400 hours, the police will restrict vehicular traffic (closing the street completely or prohibiting parking, stopping or standing) on the following streets:
1st District
Clark Adam Square
Lanchid street
Ontohaz street
Hunyadi Janos street
5th District
Kossuth tér
Parking lot at the Prime Minister’s Office
Bank street
Alkotmany street
Akademia street
Nador street
Garibaldi street
Zoltan street
Steindl street
Szechenyi street
Arany Janos street
Vigyazo Ferenc street
Vertanuk square
Batthyany Eternal Flame
Parking lot in front of the Academy of Science
Balassi Balint street
Szabadsag square
6th & 14th District
Andrassy street service road on the side of even numbers between Heroes’ square and Rippl-Ronai street
Andrassy street, by even-numbered houses between Oktogon square and Bajcsy-Zsilinszky street
Olof Palme street
Heroes’ square and surrounding area
I would be lying though if I said that this “civil unrest” wasn’t just a wee bit exciting. Thus far however I haven’t really seen anything intense, so don’t worry; also I won’t go looking for trouble or anything. I am just interested in everything that is unfolding in front of me.

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