The purpose of this article is to present to the world how a corporation (in this case, RMGC – Rosia Montana Gold Corporation) can dissimulate information with its power and money. This corporation from Canada is in a constant battle with the people of Romania, and the battle ground is Rosia Montana, in Transylvania – the oldest mining camp in Romania, being dated back to 131 AD. The mountains have 7 kilometers of Roman galleries used for mining gold, and 73 kilometers of galleries from the medieval times. Archeologists have found 25 Roman tablets that present the Roman law and the origins of the Romanians, that are of an international importance. This beautiful place holds tons and tons of gold and amber, and it may really offer a place to work to many unemployed (that was the main basis for the corporation’s campaign since the beginning, but lately there are rumors that there won’t be working places for villagers at all), but the story is totally different.
But if the mining operations should start, it could bring a lot of harm to the biodiversity and nature at Rosia Montana, as the whole landscape would change (including the fact that a couple of mountains will be razed to the ground) and would shelter lakes full of cyanide that could poison the water and kill all vegetation. And all those Roman and Medieval galleries would collapse under the weight of the bulldozers or would succumb under the power of dynamite.
For 10 years now, since the Canadian corporation first showed its intentions of mining at Rosia Montana, the battle between the corporation and the activists has been an unfair one. The Romanian National Television (TVR), that exists due to the peoples taxes (actually, because the State forces the people to pay the “television tax”), was bought off with a lot of money by the corporation. And so are many more mainstream media agencies, which present only a false, demonized image of the activists against the RMGC project and, on the other hand, the Messiah-like coming of this corporation to Romania. They managed to create the illusion to the villagers that if the activism would stop and they would accept “reality”, than they would have a place to work, that a lot of money would come as taxes to the State… The sad truth is that many of the villagers from Rosia Montana that support RMGC were bought with big money by the corporation, now having a big beautiful house and a beautiful car. The sad truth is that RMGC divides entire families, as those that didn’t want to leave (mostly elderly people) are threatened by the Canadian corporation, and by their children and grandchildren, that wish to receive the money given by the corporation. They are threatened that they will be evacuated or imprisoned if they do not leave. Why so? Because they know that the reality is a different one…
Before ending this introduction of the situation, it would be necessary to add the fact that the Police and other governmental institutions have been bought off too, somehow, and are working now against the activists and against the health of the people, doing as told by the RMGC and supporting this corporation’s interests. A clear picture that supports this is what happened this week in Romania, and these facts, presented below, will show you very clearly how dirty this battle is.
#occupyconti with Rosia Montana in Cluj-Napoca
A good example of how mass media is under the boots of the multinational corporation that wishes to mine the gold from Rosia Montana is the occupation of an abandoned hotel in the historical city of Cluj-Napoca ( Transylvania), on Monday, the 7th of November, 2011.
A group of 7 activists have occupied the Continental Hotel, in the center of the town, early in the morning. They were prepared to stay for a couple of days there, but I believe they knew from the start that the occupation would not last for long. They decorated the squatted building with banners and a flag, to show those that passed nearby that the hotel was occupied by the anti-RMGC activists. They barricaded themselves inside, so nobody could enter the building, but only by using force.
It was somehow spontaneous, as nobody from outside the activist group did not know of the intention of occupying a building. Many did not know until it has already happened, as information about this started to appear on Facebook. Some came from the start, others later, but even so, many saw how the Police did not see all of this as a peaceful action.
There were people that started passing around flyers that depicted the motive for the occupation and a brief story about Rosia Montana, but some of them found themselves in the situation of being fined for that or taken to the Police Station.
Then journalists from the national televisions and newspapers came to the scene. There were more journalists than activists…
While walking to the occupied building, one of the occupants was on the balcony of this beautiful building, talking through the megaphone about the reality at Rosia Montana and about the fact that the National Television, that exists thanks to the money of the people, sells RMGC propaganda, that depicts people that are happy of the Messiah-like coming of this corporation from Canada. Well, that being all just a lie…
At about 2 PM, the Police has managed somehow to pass through the barricades. The crowd started applauding the activists and the police van that was a little bit up the road, came nearer the building. What was interesting was that the van did not stop in front of the entrance where the Police would escort the occupants outside…hmm….maybe to make a little bit of a show, don’t you think?
So, the arrests started. The arrests of the occupants. Two by two, they were taken outside of the building, and taken inside the van. The journalists were rushing to put questions and to film them, or photograph them, acting like hungry animals. They were so many. And they had a plan too.
From the total of occupants, there were two girls. They were the last ones that were taken outside of the building, but the van has already left. So, the two girls, escorted by people in uniforms and Police in civilian clothes (and many were betting that there were even undercover cops), halted in the place where the van should have been.
So the journalists started their evil plan. Those that did not have a camera, went in the back of the crowd and started shouting at the Police “What? Did you remain without gasoline?” or “You should call a taxi! Or you should go by bus to the Police Station!” So, it was nothing to be amazed about when in some articles written by local or somehow-unimportant news sites was written that there was some disturbance among the crowd, and this being the motive the Police decided to take the two girls back into the building.
So, the girls were back inside. Now, the activists decide to block the entrance to the building. Another Police van came, but this time parked in front of the building, so the policemen and the civilian-clothed Police started moving people with brutality, to make way for the occupants to be taken to the van. The girls were dragged outside of the building and pushed into the van. And this is how the occupation of the Continental Hotel ended.
The occupants were fined (according to some articles about that event) and released a couple of hours later. At 8 PM, there was another protest (actually, a combination between a peaceful protest and a flash-mob), but this time, in a larger group and without journalists. The cops were presents, but in the end, after an hour, both protesters and policeman were talking as equals about the cruel reality at Rosia Montana, and at 9.40 PM, all of them were leaving, saying their goodbyes both to friends and to policeman.
But, we were talking about the mass-media here. Well, the funny thing is that nothing about the occupation appeared in the mainstream media. There were so many journalists at the occupation, but nothing on the TV or in the newspapers… interesting, isn’t it? As well as almost nothing appeared about the riots in Greece, too…
People present at the protest were talking about the fact that those journalists will sell the photos and videos to RMGC. The Canadian corporation will then use these materials in their own benefit, to create a bad image of the activists. Though these activists are fighting for about 10 years for a healthy nature and for a healthier society…
Following the Cluj-Napoca spontaneous action, people from other cities joined the protest line against the decision taken by most of the TV stations to censor all calls for broadcasting for most of the reporters that filmed the Monday protest at #occupyconti. Unsatisfied that the mass-media did not report about the Cluj-Napoca incident (and also that it generally restrains itself from reporting almost anything in this matter, though the struggle lasts for about 10 years), the anti-RMGC activists have issued a call for solidarity and organized a Facebook event for all those that want to protest against the main media institution from Romania – the public television. Corporate private media was not included in the protest, cause we all know how these mass-media institutions are funded (in the night of the protest, at least one private TV station presented a talk-show to support the RMGC cyanide gold mining people were protesting against)… Therefore, flash mobs gathered at the gates of most of the TVR’s buildings in the country and protested silently against the media’s lack of interest.
In Cluj-Napoca, the flash mob was peaceful. The activists, having their mouths sealed shut with adhesive tape, having written on them “Save Rosia Montana” and other messages, protested in front of the Radio House, where the TVR was. There weren’t any problems with the Police, except the part where they asked for an ID (but, this is a daily routine for any activist protesting), so, after about two hours, the protest ended peacefully.
Except for that, other TVR buildings that were supposed to gather protesters are in the cities of Timisoara, Targu-Mures, Bucharest and Iasi. Though the protest was announced quite in short, police was again already there at the time the protest was planned to start, in most of the locations, waiting for and documenting all protesters. In those cities, considering the fact that the number of people gathered was quite little, the police was not brutal and protesters were “invited” to leave after being documented.
That, unfortunately, did not happen in Bucharest that day… Minutes after people gathered there to peacefully act in a silent protest (the call specified that everyone should wear a piece of adhesive tape sticked on his mouth, as a symbol of the self-embargo the TV station placed on the Rosia Montana related news), the local police and gendarmerie took brutal action to evict the place.
Although protesters were far from noisy, and none ever occupied or blocked any private space or passage / entry, the coppers began targeting and pushing the protesters away. Five of them, though non-violent, silent and peaceful, were jumped into police vans as criminals and presented no reason for that. They were accused of “organizing the demo” and were taken to the station, where they were also given a fine. We present the testimonial of Ms. Lavinia Andrei, the president of “Terra Mileniul III” NGO, one of the arrested (watch the arrest movie here:https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=10150369975196731)
“What happened in front of the Romanian Public Television was a nightmare, against democracy and human rights, a nightmare about free speech being banned. What started as a peaceful flash-mob protest against the TVR’s lack of interest in promoting the Save Rosia Montana project (participants gathered spontaneously for 2-3 minutes and were wearing a symbol that suggested their action) turned into a street fight with the gendarmerie soldiers. […] I was cornered by them and jumped into a Gendarmerie’s van, and all this time being shoved and even being slapped in the back of my head by them. Finally, near the van, I managed to ask them the reason I am being held for. They could not present me with any reason, instead they continued shoving and slapping me.
The fact that the demonstration is considered illegal has been announced later, after me and my colleagues were already detained and held in the van.
It is so sad that this is the real face of what freedom of speech looks like in Romania, in the European Union, in the year 2011…”
Also, according to what the “Terra Mileniul III” NGO promoted in a press release following this event, informing the public on this topic is even more important now that the Romanian Parliament is preparing to pass a law to allow any private investor that holds a license to exploit the natural resources also to forcedly expropriate those living in the targeted area (and this appears a law that comes in direct help of the RMGC – a corporation not only “green” activists fight against these days…)
The Romanian public television issued a press release on Facebook (?!) stating, among others, that they were never blocking or censoring any news and that they did not ask for the gendarmerie to arrive and break the protest. But the TVR employees also took action later against all the people that started to oppose this press release by deleting their comments on any facebook related post from the official TVR pages. These comments contained different facts, evidences and proposals for TVR regarding the Rosia Montana news.
This is another example on how Romanian mass-media manipulates people by presenting mostly only one side of the story… a story that doesn’t sparkle as you can see it in the pro-RMGC campaign, instead, it is full of hatred, cyanide and deceit…and all of this, only to win some more money. If corporations got in this mess, not caring about the people anymore, but only about more economical wealth, what will it become of our world?
We kindly ask any one of you that can share this story to do so. In as many ways possible, so people would react to this injustice and so romanians would also get at least the hope of having a more free press… All those interested in supporting this struggle against the corporate greed of RMGC that also infested the way the news are presented in Romania can also join the Facebook discussion group Save Rosia Montana. More information on the struggle and about other things (the negative effect on nature, people, economy, and so on and so forth) can be found here: www.rosiamontana.net