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The current protests [hu] in Budapest and other big cities were organized by the grassroots student union called Hallgatói Hálózat (“Network of Students”) or HaHa, the National Union of Students (HÖOK), the Network of Academics (Oktatói Hálózat, OHA), the Network for the Freedom of Curriculum (Hálózat a Tanszabadságért, HAT) and the Network of Parents (Szülői Hálózat).

Up until now, the official student unions have kept a distance from the grassroots student union and its initiatives. Members of the latter occupied a university in Budapest [hu] in February, but their actions were condemned [hu] by the university's official student union. Now all student unions seem united in their support for self-organized protests.

The protests started on Monday in the southern Hungarian city of Szeged, where students held a sit-in at a government office:

1. We demand a sweeping reform in the public and higher education!

2. Admission quotas are to be set back to at least the 2011 levels!

3. Stop the decrease of funding, compensate the withdrawals!

4. Eliminate the student contract!

5. Don't limit the universities’ autonomy!

+1: The sweeping reform should provide a chance for students from low-income families to receive higher education.

On Monday, the protesters blocked a bridge over the Danube River, then marched to the Parliament, where the “five-plus-one points” were announced, and then they finished the rally by blocking another bridge. According to Eduline [hu], the rally in Budapest started at around 3PM and ended at around 8:30PM at Adam Clark Square.


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University of Pittsburgh Press The Workers’ State: Industrial Labor and the Making of Socialist Hungary, 1944–1958 (Pitt Russian East European)
Book (University of Pittsburgh Press)

Austrian Man Wins Right To Wear Pasta Strainer

by MichaelScarn

Austrian Man Wins Right To Wear Pasta Strainer In License Photo!
In Austria one of the strangest fights for religious freedom has come to an end: Niko Alm, a self-described "Pastafarian," fought for three years for the right to wear a pasta strainer on his head in his driver's license photo.
His argument? Alm claimed he belonged to the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and wearing the strainer was part of his religion.

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