Greek version HERE
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If you don’t know exactly what’s happening right now in Romania, the motives, more precisely, read this short text, it could give you a clue or two: The two big struggles in Romania: a message for international solidarity!
It’s Monday, and an old man is cleaning in front of my block of flats. It’s quiet outside, as if yesterday was a very big party allover the city. And you could say it was, but not in that certain way.
Yesterday was Sunday, and this meant one whole week of protests in Romania and abroad. It all started because the Government proposed to the Parliament to vote for a law project that will permit the destruction of Roşia Montană, actually, the kick-off of the biggest open-pit mining project in Europe. What remains between a law project and reality is the decision of the Parliament.
But the people said NO. This NO was for gold mining with cyanide, this NO was for shale gas fraking, this NO was for many actions that could damage, for ever, the nature that still surrounds us.
In the first Sunday, the 1st of September, we were more than 15.000 in total, in all the cities that were protesting against gold mining and shale gas fracking. We were more than last year, in 2012, when, for more than 40 days, we protested against the Government. Two Governments fell, and the third, the present one, made more illegal and bad things to the people, than those before it. Including the Roşia Montană project, and shale gas fracking.
There were protests in more than 40 cities, in Romania, Europe, and even North America. But the press didn’t see anything. For the last 7-8 days, it was not the Police that made us trouble, not the people of the corporation (the miners of Roşia Montană Gold Corporation – RMGC), but the press.
They didn’t write anything in the news paper, show anything at the TV, maybe there were one or two radio stations that said what was happening in Romania. And, as far as I know, the radio stations remained to be the ones that continued to talk about the protests and about the project.
When reporters from TV appeared, they were telling only lies or that they were pushed, cursed, and things like this, by the protesters. Oh my!, their honor was washed away by these filthy protesters that didn’t like the media for one good reason: all the big mass-media trusts were bought by RMGC, and they were showing only what the corporation was paying for.
The first night went just fine. The first protest. We were feeling very powerful, we didn’t have this kind of big public demonstrations for more than a year; many have forgotten the feeling of being in the streets, with thoulsands of people that share a common goal, a common struggle.
We decided, in the city of Cluj, that we will meet next Sunday (yesterday). But our friends from Bucharest continued to protest even next day. They managed to maintain a critical mass of 1000-2000 people each and every night. From Monday, they started occupying squares, cross-roads, the parks in front of different Governmental institutions. On Tuesday, we did the same in Cluj. With only a 15 hours notification of the protests, more than 1500 people managed to gather in the Unirii square, and we started doing the same: occupying the streets and the squares.
The teachings from Gezi park came to Romania too: in Bucharest, they had working and discussion groups, in the streets, during the protests. They even come every day with some tents – that are more as a symbolic thing „we are not leaving the streets!” In Cluj we had public meetings to discuss how to organize for the next days. During this time, other cities were protesting. More and more independent journalists started to write on what is happening – and many wrote so nicely. People regained their power of making the stories, so they were writting opinions, posting photos, videos, proposals on their Facebook accounts. There is a big crave for real information, for real and true information. We don’t give up. We will not surrender.
The international press call this the Romanian Autumn. The Arab Spring, the Turkish Summer and the Romanian Autumn. More and more people decide that it is time to act. Too much not-acting hurts, not for the individual, but for the collective, for the future of our children and for the children that will be born sometimes in the future. We cannot permit a corporation to destroy nature!
So more and more people (from Romania, and not only) start acting. In New York, in Tokyo, in the steppes of Mongolia, in the skies. People send their solidarity messages to the people struggling in Romania. We start being more and more conscious.
People protested in front of the Romanian National Television, the TVR. TVR is OUR television, but they are bought too. They don’t show what they should show: what is happening in the streets.
A couple of days ago, there was a big match: Romania vs. Hungary. Except the fact that many Hungarian fascists supporters came, destroing the train they came with, and fighting with the Gendarmerie (destroying many terraces in their way), 3000 Romanian supporters shouted during the match: UNITED WE SAVE ROŞIA MONTANA! You didn’t hear this on the TV. And when the cameras were filming the banners of the supporters, they put a piece of paper in front of it. It is illegal to show the truth.
The second Sunday came. Tens of cities are protesting again, not only in Romania, but allover the world.
In Bucharest, the marches started from the sectors (neighborhoods with their own townhouse). Six marches, towards a single square. In Cluj, Eugen David, the president of Alburnus Maior, the NGO that started the struggle in Roşia Montană (it is the NGO of the villagers that oppose the project), came along with his daughter and other villagers. He had a very motivational discourse. That the struggle will continue until all the demands will be met.
10.000 in Cluj. Almost 20.000 in Bucharest. And who knows how many thoulsands in other cities. It’s only one week we are protesting, but we are more than double. And the numbers will rise, each and every day.
People start feeling the alternatives. And that all of us are one big family, that must help eachother and those that are arround us. In Turkey, the protesters were called „capulcu”. We are called „hipsters”. We are the hipsters that will change Romania. And many people have faith in us, as we have in them.
Today, Prime-Minister Victor Ponta, one of the big enemies of the people, said that „We reject the Roşia Montană project, and we end the discussion”. They are afraid to be accused for undermining the national economy, as some politicians were a couple of days ago. They are afraid of us. They see we are spreading and we are more and more powerful. So they try to kill the movement however they think they could.
What was the respons of Eugen David?
„We won a battle, but not the war!
Following the declaration of Prime-Minister Victor Ponta, the Save Roşia Montană Campaign announces that the street protests will continue until:
– The Parliament, through the Senat and Chamber of Deputies will vote to reject the law project;
– The Governments will reject the emergency procedure through a governmental environmental approval;
– Roşia Montană will be included in the Romanian list for UNESCO;
– Cyanide will be prohibited by law in mining activities in Romania;
– The four founders of the law project: the Minister for Large Projects (Dan Şova), the one for Environment (Rovana Plumb), the one for Culture (Daniel Barbu) and the ANRM director (Gheorghe Duţu) will be dismissed;
The 9th of September, 2013”
The struggle continues!
For more pictures, videos, and live updates (the majority in Romanian), please follow these pages:
Alburnus Maior (the NGO of the villagers from Roşia Montană)
Uniţi Salvăm (the official page of the protests, mainly Bucharest)
Grupul Independent de Informare (an independent group formed by people from different cities, centered on the protests from now, 24/7)
The hashtags used are: #unitisalvam #rosiamontana #salvamrosiamontana