Sunday, October 26, 2014

Pseudo-Liveblog #1: Protests about Hungary's Internet Tax

Hello again, everyone, and welcome to my first liveblog from nowhere near the event I'm talking about!

Now, normally I couldn't be bothered to do a liveblog about anything even if it was right next to me, but this situation affects me, and the Internet in general a big deal, so I decided to go ahead and report on it.

Behold: the internet tax.

Yup, that's right. They're going to implement a tax based on the amount of downloaded content. How much is that tax exactly? Well...

If you don't know the current USD/HUF conversion rate (i.e. if you have a life), that's roughly 0.63 dollars for a GB of downloaded data. That would make downloading a Blu-Ray movie cost $18.5 USD.

Naturally, people were pretty pissed off at that amount of tax, even after the government put a 700 HUF limit on it (5000 for companies). Someone made a Facebook group to protest against this tax, and it got 100 thousand likes in one day; and when they annouced a protest in the capital city, 40 thousand people signed up for the protest, with 7 thousand saying they might join in as well.

And this brings us to today's liveblog, which will be about these protests and how they will turn out. This will mostly consist of paragraphs and pictures blatantly stolen from various news sources, with the original sites linked after the paragraphs, along with a little bit of my own, crappy humor and puns.

Anyway, see you at 6PM GMT+1 (roughly 32 minutes from now), when the protest's supposed to start!


10:02 PM, 2014/10/26: Well, this protest is pretty much over. There are only 150 people out there by now, the policemen didn't have to use force to send the protesters away. However, early on, the crowd gave a 48-hour ultimatum to retract the proposal of the net tax completely, and invited people to another protest on Tuesday. So this is not over, far from it.

Until then, though, I'm signing off. Thanks to the people following this liveblog, and see you next time!

9:49 PM, 2014/10/26: Correction incoming: apparently there aren't any football fans at the demonstration, because, as they've said, "if we were there, we would've took over the HQ by now". Speaking of the Fidesz headquarters, have a picture from a room inside it:

Pretty pleasant, am I right? (Index)

9:38 PM, 2014/10/26: Here's a little picture, which shows how much money it would take to create your own live broadcast with this internet tax.

9:28 PM, 2014/10/26: A few hundred people remain, still protesting. The police still won't use any tools to send the people away, they're just waiting there, letting the cold air do its work. (Hír24)

9:12 PM, 2014/10/26: The people are slowly seeping out from the HQ and the streets. The policemen have encircled the square where most of the crowd resides; looks like they won't use tear gas, they'll just out-wait the protesters. (Hír24)

8:50 PM, 2014/10/26: People are being pushed back from the HQ by policemen. Also, looks like there are women and old people at the demonstration as well, not just football fans. (IndexUstream)

8:44 PM, 2014/10/26: I believe it's about time I posted a pic that's not from the main protest. (Hír24)

8:37 PM, 2014/10/26: Now they're chanting "You fucked up!". The police are driving out the people and reporters, they're preparing to use tear gas as well. (Index, Hír24Ustream)

8:26 PM, 2014/10/26: As I said, shit's getting serious. A petard was thrown from a balcony of the Fidesz HQ, fences were torn down, and people have spat on the reporter of Hír TV (a Hungarian news channel). (Index)

8:18 PM, 2014/10/26: More windows are broken now, people are throwing around computer cases, and oh my god I can't stop laughing. (Index)

8:15 PM, 2014/10/26: Stream is coming back online for short periods of time. There's an ever larger mass of people at the HQ. (Ustream, Index)

8:10 PM, 2014/10/26: Well shit. The hardcore football fans decided to go to the Fidesz HQ anyway, breaking in windows with defunct speakers. Yay. (Index)

7:56 PM, 2014/10/26: Well, according to the stream, the protest's over. However, a bunch of football fans from an earlier protest are also there, still chanting "We're not going home! Charge!" and things like that. (Index, Ustream)

7:52 PM, 2014/10/26: Most of the group seems to accept the fact that the protest was moved and that it has to end early. They're singing the national anthem right now. (Ustream)

7:49 PM, 2014/10/26: The masses already filled in Hősök tere (Heroes' Square), where they were redirected. (Ustream)

7:30 PM, 2014/10/26: Apparently, the police closed down Lendvai Street, where the Fidesz HQ is. Shit will get serious when the masses find that out. (Hír24)

7:24 PM, 2014/10/26: There were smaller-scale protests on Miskolc and Pécs as well, with at least 150 and 300 people respectively. (Index)

7:20 PM, 2014/10/26: There are around 10,000 people on Andrássy Street, still going forward. (ATVIndex)

7:17 PM, 2014/10/26: Protesters are still advancing. In the meantime, have a view of the protesters from above.

7:06 PM, 2014/10/26: The protesters are slowly advancing to the Fidesz headquarters. The size of the group is still growing. (Index)

6:54 PM, 2014/10/26: Sorry for the delay, got a headphone so I could actually hear something from the protests.

Quick recap:
  • I'm not even taking guesses at the size of the group out there; all I know is that it's massive.
  • The stream is lagging quite a lot, but there are still 17,000 people watching it.
  • I have a pic for you guys! (IndexUstream)

6:24 PM, 2014/10/26: It's hard to get to the square now, there are around 6-7,000 people on the streets. Also, the first actual speech has begun. (ATVUstream)

6:13 PM, 2014/10/26: Ah, it's a 2008 speech from the Fidesz party, who are currently leading the country, in which they were against the internet tax. Creative. (Ustream)

6:07 PM, 2014/10/26: Well, they started off the speech. Can't really understand a thing from it, though; my speakers are acting up. (Ustream)

6:03 PM, 2014/10/26: 3,000 people are at József Nádor Square, where the protests are being held. Meanwhile, looks like they're holding a classical music concert, with Mozart's Requiem playing. (Index)

5:56 PM, 2014/10/26: Well, it looks like things are starting off early. There's already a stream about the protests, and 1,500 people are at the protests so far. Yup, 1,500. Hey, that's still something. (Index)

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