Hungarians protest new teachers' law, police violence

STORY: Street protests over the past year have been peaceful except for one early this month when police tear-gassed teenagers at a pro-teacher rally as they tried to get closer to the offices of Prime Minister Viktor Orban, which have been surrounded by construction fences since 2020.

Many of the signs at Friday's protest criticized the actions of the police and made reference to the use of tear gas.

"I think the police action was a bit too violent", said demonstrator Miklos Bus, adding other measures should have been taken.

Friday's protest came after a series of rallies and strikes for higher salaries and better working conditions for teachers.

Hungary's inflation rate - now running at 24% - has eroded teacher wages that were already below the national average and rank second to last among OECD countries according to 2021 data.

Protesters on Friday marched against the new so-called Status Law that would also significantly increase teachers' workload, which the government says aims to improve the quality of education.