In recent months, the University of Theater and Film Arts in Budapest (SZFE) became the new target of the Hungarian government’s culture war. The experiences of the institution’s response may change the nature of future demonstrations.
The necessity of a reformed Hungarian higher education system became clear in the 2000s: after the regime change in 1990, the number of higher education students was increasing heavily, which decreased the quality of higher education and the value of university diplomas.
The Law and Justice Party (PiS) has used three consecutive electoral victories in Poland to polarize society around the “gender ideology” issue, leading to the government’s unanimous opposition of every policy proposal that mentions “gender” or “gender equality”.
The legacy of Bader Ginsburg, who was nominated to a seat on the DC circuit appeals court by Jimmy Carter in 1980 and finally nominated for the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton in 1993, is the social equality of women, LGBTIQ and other minorities. She fought for an open America that finds its strength in diversity.
It is not the first time that November 11th – Poland’s Independence Day to commemorate the restoration of its sovereign state in 1918 after 123 years of occupation by the German, Austrian-Hungry and Russian empires – had been hijacked by far-right groups wreaking havoc in the streets.
After the PiS government declared it is going to “repolonize” media, the US and German ambassadors to Poland, respectively Georgette Mosbacher and Arndt Freytag von Loringhoven, have met to discuss the freedom of press.
On October 22, Poland’s Constitutional Tribunal ruled that abortions for fetal abnormalities violate the Constitution, effectively imposing a near-total ban on abortion. Tribunal’s president Julia Przyłębska said that allowing abortions in cases of fetal abnormality legalized “eugenic practices“.
The Constitutional Tribunal in Poland has granted a request by more than 100 right-wing conservative MPs and declared abortions, even on account of severe foetal defects, to be unconstitutional. The ruling paves the way for a further tightening of the Polish abortion law, which is already one of the strictest in the European Union.
Demonstrations were held not only in Kraków, Katowice, Wrocław, Szczecin, and Gdańsk, but also in smaller cities. On Friday evening, crowds marched again to the house of Kaczyński, then to the house of Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. According to estimates, no less than 15,000 people took part in this “walk”.