Fourth day of protests against restrictions

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Some hundreds people have taken to the streets for the fourth night in a row in Bucharest and other cities in Romania to voice their discontent against the restrictions imposed by the authorities to counter the Covid-19 pandemic.

The fourth day of anti-restriction rallies has seen the lowest attendance since the beginning of the protests.

Several hundreds have protested in Bucharest, Braila, while in other cities like Galati, Craiova, Pitesti, Constanta there were only some tens of protesters. In Timisoara, nobody showed up at the announced hour.

Around 200 protesters marched downtown Bucharest, Universitatii Square, Calea Mosilor, reclaiming the medical dictatorship”, and asking for “freedom”. They voiced their discontent against movement restrictions and the compulsory face masks. Protesters waved flags, whistled, and blew vuvuzelas.

The Romanian Gendarmerie handed over 891 fines in excess of 366,000 lei were applied in the first three days of national protests against restrictions imposed to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Romanian Gendarmerie.

“After identifying the persons participating in the protests on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in violation of the law, 891 fines were issued nationwide amounting to 366,550 lei,” the Gendarmerie told a press release today.

Also, notification documents were drawn up for two persons who owned dangerous objects in relation to the crime of carrying or using illegal dangerous objects in Iasi, and for two other persons, one from Targoviste and one from Arad for the use of illegal fireworks.

Senator Diana Șoșoacă,  and AUR leaders George Simion and Claudiu Târziu will be fined by RON 15,000 each after the protest in Bucharest on Monday.

PM Florin Citu said that anyone has the right to protest, but within the limits of the law. “The pandemic doesn’t stop through protests, but through vaccination”.

According to him, we all want to return to normal, and vaccination is the fastest way to get rid of the pandemic.

“Over 3,000,000 doses of vaccine administered so far! The good news is that 1 million people have already acquired full immunity from the two doses. We have two million people who received the first dose. We are speeding up the vaccination campaign: in April we receive over 3.3 million doses of vaccine and over 5 million doses in May. We will increase the administration capacity so that people who want to get vaccinated will have access as soon as possible,” Citu wrote on Facebook.

Minister of Justice Stelian Ion has also said that the right to protest is “an absolutely legitimate” one, but when it clashes with the others’ right to health, the state needs to react very firmly.

“The protests seem different from the ones that took place several years ago when they were of a different type, but still protests. The truth is that there is a pretty large difference between the two categories of protests. Now it’s about people’s health and we need to put into balance people’s health, on the one hand, and the right to protest, which is also a very important right, a fundamental right. And then we need to see where is the limit, that very fine line, between one’s right to say its opinion, to shout out his/her dissatisfaction – which is absolutely legitimate, and its very natural for this right to exist – and on the other hand, when this right clashes with the others’ right to health, then we have a problem and I think that the state needs to have a very firm reaction in such cases,” said the Minister of Justice.

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