29 years after the anti-communist Revolution, Romanians have taken to the streets again to commemorate the heroes who gave their lives back then, but also to protest against the current ruling party and the government.
Thousands gathered in the Victoriei Square in Bucharest (2,000 estimated) on Saturday afternoon for the “22 December – Our Revolution” event announced on Facebook, which continued University Square, the ground zero area of the 1989 Revolution, as tens of people died on the barricade at Intercontinental hotel back in December 1989. There was a moment of silence in Universitatii Square, while people were also laying wreaths of flowers and lighting candles in the memory of the martyrs.
The rally ended in front of the Royal Palace, where the names and ages of all those who died in the Revolution have been read, approximately 1,200 victims. Lists with the name, age and few words of the victims of the Revolution have covered the fences of the Royal Palace, accompanied by lit candles. The lists revealed that the average age of the Revolution’s victims stood at around 20-25 years old. There were also children who died in December 1989.
People were waving Romania’s and European Union’s flags during the rally, as well as banners reminding of the revolution heroes, such as “Honour the martyrs for freedom!” or another one with a lit candle on it with archive photos from the Revolution of 1989, but also banners reading messages against corruption, against amnesty and pardon, the topics currently at issue today.
“December ’89. 1116 dead for freedom and justice. They didn’t die for the pardon of the criminals!” says a message on the cover image of the announced event. “They believed in freedom in the darkest times of Romania,” the organiser 21 Decembrie 1989 Association, says about the victims of the 1989 Revolution.
“We resist, we never give up!”, protesters also chanted, shouting against PSD, corruption and amnesty. The relation with the troops of gendarmes deployed on the scene during the rally has been very tensed.
“Down with the communists,” “PSD, the red plague”, “Gendarmerie defends thieves”, “Get out of the country, traitor”, “Freedom”, “It’s a pity for the blood shed”, “Romania, wake up”, “If you care, get out”, “We don’t want to be led by thieves”, “Justice, not corruption”.
The TV crew of Antena 3 (a television close to the ruling party and the government) was booed in the crowd. The gendarmes needed to prompt in and help the TV crew get out from the middle of the protesters who shouted “Shame on you!”, “Dragnea’s servants”.