Ok, so my next stunt is to try and overtake the slowly moving police forces and face the water cannons that are squeezing rioters out of Deák tér, herding them towards Astoria where opposition party Fidesz is holding its ’56 memorial event. It’s 7:20 pm, and the crowd looks like it was it was struck by a bad flu epidemic: the wind doesn’t have a chance to get into the narrow streets and blow away the tear gas that makes people cry, cough and curse.
One small street that would take me to the front line is blocked by a line of policemen, so I take a right turn on Dob utca, in times of peace a sleepy street with one of Budapest’s best Indian restaurants, now a street full of people either running away from the events or trying to get close to them. About 50 meters from the front line, I suddenly hear the sound of gas grenades detonating and landing just inches away from my feet. Clouds of smoke choke the crowd. A flying grenade almost hits a young girl running on the sidewalk. We all run for cover.
The blue dot shows where the front line is; the red dot is where the grenades land.See the area
on Google Maps