Tens of thousands Romanians took to the street again in Bucharest, other major cities on Saturday evening to march against the ruling coalition, the amendments to the laws of justice, the criminal codes and the tax code.
People got mobilized on Facebook, mostly discontent with the amendments on the justice laws and criminal codes. Protesters came from all over the country: Sibiu, Brasov, Timisoara, Iasi or Constanta. They left for Bucharest early on Sunday by cars, train or even on foot. A group of protesters has left the city of Cluj bound for Bucharest a week ago to join the protest on Saturday. Some have even come from abroad to join the march.
The call for the street protest was launched on Facebook, with the protesters gathering in University Square, starting the march to Union Square-Fountains-Parliament, with visits being paid to the institutions confiscated by the parliamentary majority (Ombudsman, the Constitutional Court, the National Audiovisual Council).
The protest ended in front of the Parliament’s building in Constitutiei Square. Digi24 reported that around 60,000 protesters attended the rally in Bucharest, the organizers from the “Corruption kills” say there were 70,000.
In front of the Parliament, protesters lit their mobile’s flashlights and sang the national anthem.
3,000 gendarmes were deployed in the Capital to ‘keep an eye’ on protesters, accompanying them on their route from Universitatii Square to Unirii Square.
However, incidents were reported between gendarmes and protesters in the Universitatii Passage, after the policemen formed a cordon and tried to stop people from climbing the stairs up to the road. Magheru Boulevard was occupied by protesters after the gendarme cordon had been broken.
Later on, protesters chanted “Resignation”, “Dragnea in jail” in front of the Parliament, “Justice, not corruption”, “We don’t want to be a nation of thieves”, “DNA come and get you”. A laser light was projected on one of the blocks in front of the Parliament Palace, reading “PSD, red plague”, “We are getting tired of how much you have stolen”.
The people also waving placards reading: “We don’t accept Romania turning into Teleorman”, “Get your hands off justice”, “Fiscal revolution is the biggest bite”, “We are all back in the country”, “You are a party of thieves, corrupt and mobsters”, “Dragnea, watch out, Transylvania is coming!”.
Several compact groups from Arad, Timisoara and Cluj were seen, carrying banners reading: “Teldrum, mob cartel”, “Criminals, Dragnea’s servants”.
Similar protest marches took place in other cities in Romania, as well as abroad, organized by the Romanians living in Vienna, Brussels, Torono, Zurich, Paris, Rome or Edinburgh.
The protest is organised by the civic groups Coruptia ucide (Corruption kills) , 600000 for EResistence, Insistam, Initiativa Romania, Civic Association ProFest, Contract Romania, Civic Movement Galati, Declic, Umbrela Anticoruptie Cluj, Aradul Civic, VeDem Just – Voci pentru Democratie si Justitie si Spatiu liber de coruptie. #VaVedem din Bucuresti.
The violent gendarme incident
After the protest, images with a gendarme punching demonstrators in Universitatii Square have flooded the media and have been shared on social media, stirring harsh criticism.
The man is seen punching hard several times some of the manifestants who were trying to force the gendarme cordon to occupy the roadway.
One of his colleagues, another gendarme intervened, telling the violent gendarme to stop and step away, Digi24 reported. The Bucharest Gendarmerie spokesperson, Georgian Enache told Digi24 that it has been “an individual action” of one of the gendarmes who has probably lost temper under pressure. Enache announced that internal checks are under way and that the Gendarmerie will not hesitate to assume its responsibility, if the case.
Moreover, police officer Marian Godina, famous for his rich social media activity and his interesting posts, revealed that the violent gendarme is the same gendarme who used to provide protection for PSD chairman Liviu Dragnea, when he was summoned to DNA to be heard in his corruption files.