street demonstration

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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)
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as you may know Polish government decided that nuances such us constitution or judicial independence are non essentials in democracy. For some reason it sparked quite a lot of controversy and protest all over country. So pleas give a thought to Polish democracy before it will require past tense.  

Never again

Demonstration of Argentinians living in Barcelona against the reduction of sentences and the freeing of human rights abusers in their country in the 70s

Plaça Sant Jaume - Barcelona

© 2017 Oscar Alcañiz - Please, do not erase this text if you reblog this picture

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Venezuela’s symphony of protests

Protesters play violins, flutes and guitars as they take to the streets of Caracas in demonstrations against President Nicolas Maduro. Venezuela’s opposition renewed nationwide protests to pressure the president into holding elections and improving a collapsing economy. (Reuters)

Photo credits: Marco Bello/Reuters, Ivan Alvarado/Reuters, Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters (2)

See more photos of Venezuela’s symphony of protests and our other slideshows on Yahoo News.