About 24,000 people took to the street in Victoriei Square, Bucharest on Saturday evening to mark one year since the violent Diaspora rally of August 10, 2018, when almost 500 protesters were injured following the gendarmes’ brutal intervention.
This year the Diaspora protest meeting was peaceful, with no incidents going on. Protesters voiced their discontent against the government in a seven-hour rally.
The protest this year was organised by the “Diaspora for Romania” NGO, an association of Romanians living abroad, represented by Tommy Tomescu, a Romanian dentist who lives in London.
The same association was also for the permit to organise the protest last year, but withdrew its request several days before the violent meeting.
Yesterday, protesters lit their mobile phones’ flashlights, while chanting “Thieves“, “Resignation“, “PSD, the red plague“, to voice their rage against the incumbent ruling coalition.
Almost 24,000 people’ s voices called out to Alexandra and Luiza’s names, the girls reportedly killed in Caracal after being kidnapped and raped, with protesters also setting up an altar for them, but also for the victims of Colectiv tragic fire in 2015. Protesters lashed out against the Social Democrat ruling and governments, arguing the Colectiv an Caracal victims had paid with their lives for the rulers’ negligence, incompetence and corruption.
At the same time, the message “Analfabeta/The illiterate” was screened with a lased on the Government’s building by the well-known #rezist protester Cristian Dide, who had become famous in the previous years for screening anti-PSD and anti-Government messages on the state buildings in Bucharest. Last year, Dide screened the message “Down with PSD” on the House of Parliament during the iMapp festival.
Cristian Dide was involved in almost all protests staged in Bucharest against the PSD ruling, becoming known for his clashes with the riot police. During a previous anti-PSD rally, Dide climbed a tree, while during another event organised by the Bucharest City Hall, he was handcuffed by the police officers while screening the message “#Resist” on the Royal Palace.
This time on Saturday, Dide was fined in front of the Government building for he had no ID papers and for stationing his car in Victoriei Square in a restricted area. Traffic police has seized his driving license for 30 days.
Overall, there were no major incidents during yesterday’s protest, with gendarmes claiming this was due to the people, who were more “sympathetic”. Four people were taken to the police, while other 11 needed medical care, most probably because of the scorching heat.
Renowned pianist Davide Martello performed during the protest in Victoriei Square yesterday, as he had pledged since last year. Martello, famous for playing piano across the conflict zone around the globe, performed a concert in Romania last year as well, one month after the violent clashes between the Diaspora protesters and the gendarmes.