The details about the protests from Romania which might have been left out of the news: people bringing their laptops out at the protest site during the day and working from there, people giving flowers to policemen and other law-enforcement agents who are tasked with maintaining order, kindergartens offering free baby-sitting for parents who want to protest, people sharing food and hot drinks, taxi-drivers giving people free rides to the protest site, people staying back and cleaning the protest sites, protests being planned in Moldova and Bulgaria in sign of solidarity, and people all over the world expressing their support.

some fun facts about the romanian protests:

the government just made train rides free for students a few days ago. hundreds of students took that opportunity to get to bucharest to protest
pubs are offering free drinks, restaurants free food, hotels free accommodation, taxis free rides, kindergartens free babysitting
police officers and guards stay in the squares to protest after their shifts are over
people in bulgaria and moldova have also come out to protest in solidarity

it’s day 6 of protesting in the cold and humanity is truly beautiful. also, romanians are savage

2

It was 1989.

It was late December and the previous night I came back from a ski trip with friends. Up in the mountains, no radio, no mobile phones, no nothing, this was communist Romania so we only found out in the train back that our world started to move. That Romanians had enough of that so called “communist dream” and started to fill up the streets, marching and demanding to overthrow that monument of corruption called the Romanian Communist Party, starting with its dreaded leader Ceausescu…

After a few hours of worried sleep I woke up in the late morning in the sound of chants coming form the main street. My mother was looking stunned out the window. “Look at them, they are coming from the Bargaie. They must have gathered at the factories there to march into town. They must be crazy, poor blokes… Securitatea are shooting at people on the streets you know? And the army… There are already victims everywhere, in Cluj, in Timisoara…” I looked out the window and felt like hardening every second “…and what are we doing now, mom?” “We? We… just wait here…” “But we cannot wait, mom! We cannot wait here… we must go and see what’s going on! Waiting here is, is, is just wrong!” said defiantly the teenager I was at the time. My mother started to weep “But, but your father? He’s out to get the daily bread ratio, he will be worried as hell seeing we’re missing?” “He will know where we are. Let’s go.” And off we went, scared but with no regrets, because we had to go. We met dad in the main square by sheer chance later, chanting with the others, and the rest is already known.

27 years later, the followers of that communist party had time to slowly morph into a proper mafia. They abandoned any illusion of ideology and thus, freed by the burden of maintaining principles, finally managed to attain full political control of the country. This week they started to modify the laws to fit their corrupt ways, to pardon their already jailed mafiosi, to make abuse and malpractice legal and to restrict whistleblowing. I’m thousands of kilometers away from that country now, but I know I must get out on the streets again - with the same deep hatred but more prowess. We are hundreds of thousands on the streets, again.

And I’m going now with my kid.

(not my photos, I still have to find the authors)

300.000 people in Bucharest, 300.000 in the rest of Romania. WE WON. For now. The government won’t quit. They are going to legalize corruption, no doubt. But we will stand up for our rights every time. The fight goes on.

Thank you for the love, world.

(Great photo by the way, Dan Mihai Balanescu.)