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Outside Hungary’s State Television: A Protest. On Air: Pigeon Talk.

Outside Hungary’s State Television: A Protest. On Air: Pigeon Talk.

BUDAPEST — Inside the Hungarian state broadcaster on Monday afternoon, an opposition lawmaker was lying on the floor, surrounded by security guards. Outside the building, a fellow member of Parliament was trying to burst through police lines to reach him.

Both filmed themselves on their phones to broadcast the encounters on Facebook.

But on the main state television channel, the talk was all about pigeons.

“Pigeon meat,” said the narrator of a program extolling the virtues of pigeon farming, “is highly sought-after abroad.”

Under Hungary’s far-right prime minister, Viktor Orban, the country has long been a place of two parallel realities.

“This is not normal,” said the lawmaker, Agnes Vadai, “that there is an M.P. on the floor inside this building, surrounded by security guards.”

Having no luck at one locked entrance, Ms. Vadai marched to another gate, this one blocked by armed guards. There was the sound of a small scuffle, and a muffled scream.

Trying to delay its passage and disrupt parliamentary business, opposition legislators blocked access to the speaker’s podium and blew whistles. The law was ultimately voted through, but the pandemonium energized several thousand Hungarians to protest in subzero conditions, three nights in a row, in the square outside.

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