Tens of thousands of Social Democrat members and followers attended the political rally staged by the ruling coalition PSD-ALDE in Victoriei Square in Bucharest, with Agerpes state news agency saying there have been more than 150,000 of demonstrators actually. The people came from all over the country to protest against the “abuses’ of the “parallel state” and “justice”, as organizers claimed.
The first coaches transporting Social Democrat members and supporters from the local organizations reached the Capital city since 4 p.m., although the meeting was scheduled to start at 8 p.m. Some coaches with demonstrators stopped at Romexpo, others on Aviatorilor Boulevard and were guided by organizers to the protest venue. The demonstrators were dressed in white, as the PSD memo had urged them.
The leaders of the Social Democrat party, led by chairman Liviu Dragnea, PM Viorica Dancila, Bucharest mayor Gabriela Firea and several MPs, but also ALDE chair, Calin Popescu Tariceanu, have also come in Victoriei Square, to deliver speeches.
“You proved courage by coming here today. You assumed the right for freedom and democracy with dignity. I hail, with pity this time, all those the parallel state has sent to the square, upon order or out of curiosity,” Dragnea addressed the crowd.
Dragnea focused his speech on demonizing the “parallel state” saying it is a system ‘using the institutions of the illegitimate state, out of democracy, out of the will expressed by votes’.
“All these things can be encompassed in one single word, Securitatea (our note: the former communist secret police). There have been three years and a half since the Basescu regime has left, but its tools have remained. Which are its tools? Corrupt prosecutors have remained, you saw them on TV forging files. The National Anti-corruption Directorate chief has remained, you heard her asking for top heads being prosecuted, you saw her investigating the Government, arresting and humiliating tens of people who have been later acquitted. The generals have remained, acting through the Securitate propaganda. The parallel state is attacking democracy through illegally financed NGOs. Undercover journalists have remained, with no one being able to say what money they are living from.
Undercover magistrates have remained. The custom to use secret services and judiciary for political purposes has remained, to serve the president political heads.
6 million Romanians intercepted, the blackmail and threat have remained. The political beneficiaries of this system are the ones who lose elections to the polls but want to win them through DNA and SRI,” PSD chairman Dragnea said in his speech.
The SocDem leader slammed President Klaus Iohannis for having trouble seeing the secret protocols concluded by the intelligence service and the judiciary bodies.
“Let’s not envy your friend Klaus Iohannis. What do you think, he has trouble seeing or problems with his file when saying he doesn’t see secret protocols?“, Dragnea said, also criticizing Liberal chairman Ludovic Orban and the supporters of the “anti-corruption fight”.
He further stated that the Securitate-like Stalinists want to transform Romanians into a people of snitches. “We are blackmailed to file denunciations against our relatives, friends, or people whom we never met. It is odious plan to divide the Romanian society, to insinuate terror that anyone can be under custody and turned into a suspect,” Dragnea accused.
The other Social Democrat leaders have also delivered speeches in protest against the ‘parallel state’ and ‘abusive judiciary’.
PM Viorica Dancila said the outcome of the Romanians’ vote must be observed and the abuses must be rejected, while Labour minister Olguta Vasilescu, former Craiova mayor and held under preventive arrest in the past for corruption charges said she had met the ‘parallel state’. “It visited to my house, I saw it in the DNA offices, where I was handcuffed. I was charged with bribe taking, I was humiliated and falsely accused,” Vasilescu argued.
In her turn, Bucharest mayoress, Gabriela Firea, welcomed demonstrators for “willingly coming to Bucharest”, thus taunting accusations that PSD protesters would have come by force to attend the rally. “Have you willingly come to Bucharest? Has anyone paid you to come? Have anyone forced you to come? or threatened you,” she asked, adding that Victoriei Square belongs to all Romanians and must not be “seized” anymore. “We must defend our freedom”, she argued.
Demonstrators waved flags and had banners reading: ‘Democracy means freedom, not eavesdropping’, ‘We want justice, not political police’, ‘Iohannis is for us a sort of second Basescu’, ‘Prosperity, not Securitate’, ‘Stop Stalinist trials’, while other slogans kept on running on the big screens set up in Victoriei Square: ‘Run Codruta, run!’, ‘Your abuses have silenced our freedom.’
The trash left behind
The PSD-ALDE followers have left tons of trash and plastic bottles behind after the rally ended late in the night. The trash men came to gather all that mess: empty plastic bottles, paper, garbage, and signs abandoned by the Social Democrat sympathizers.