Bucharest City Hall approves 13 events on Saturday, the day of the PSD rally. Firea: I call on organisers to observe the conditions established with public authorities

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Thirteen events have been approved by the Bucharest City Hall for Saturday, the day when Victory Square will host, at 8 p.m., the PSD rally “in defence of democracy and rule of law,” rally in which the Social Democrats expect hundreds of thousands of people to take part.

The protest announced by #resist demonstrators is not among them. Thus, ‘Corruption Kills’ protesters have announced they will hold a protest on Sunday, at 6 p.m.

Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea calls on all organisers to observe the terms and conditions established with public authorities, so that the events would take place peacefully and in a civilised manner, “considering the high number of events scheduled on Saturday, as well as their size.”

According to the Bucharest City Hall, the commission tasked with approving demonstration requests, commission in which all factors involved in ensuring public order are represented (Traffic Police, General Police Directorate, General Gendarmery Directorate, Special Gendarmes Brigade, Street Management), has approved thirteen events in several areas of Bucharest on Saturday.

Bucharest Mayor Gabriela Firea calls on all organisers to observe the terms and conditions established with public authorities, so that the events would take place peacefully and in a civilised manner.

“Considering the high number of events taking place on June 9 in Bucharest, as well as their size, I call on all organisers of these events to observe the terms and conditions established with the public authorities, through the protocols on the approved demonstrations, so that the events would take place in a peaceful and civilised manner, with full security for citizens. The Bucharest City Hall, along with the Gendarmerie, Traffic Police, Bucharest Municipality’s Local Police, as well as the districts’ local police units, institutions that have the responsibility of ensuring the security of citizens, will take all legal measures so that these events would unfold in the best conditions. I emphasise the fact that the Bucharest City Hall respects and will always respect the democratic right of citizens – acknowledged by the Romanian Constitution – to protest freely in line with the legislation in force. We must not forget that Bucharest, European capital, belongs to Bucharesters who must feel secure in the city in which they live,” Gabriela Firea claims.

The municipality states that the organisers of the events approved by the Approval Commission have observed Law no.60/1991, whose Article 7 stipulates that the organisers of demonstrations must lodge a request at least three days prior to the date of their unfolding, mentioning the name of the organising group, the purpose, location, date, starting hour and duration of the event, the routes of access and dispersal, the approximate number of participants, and the persons authorised to ensure and be accountable for the organisational measures.

“We underscore that the term ‘notifying the authorities,’ a term used in the online environment in connection with the intentions of some persons to organise various events in the public space (Victory Square) does not exist in Law no.60/1991 on the organising and unfolding of demonstrations, does not have any legal cover, being legally null. Thus, any event organised in the public space based on so-called notifications does not observe Romanian legislation, misleads citizens of good faith, and limits the right to free protest of those who went through all the legal steps to organise public events. We remind that, in line with the legislation in force, and according to the protocols concluded with public authorities, any event organiser – whether we are talking about cultural or social events, marches or rallies – takes responsibility for both the number of participants and the logistical measures, so that the said event would unfold in full security for all participants,” the Bucharest City Hall points out.

The institution reminds that the following are contraventions: the organising and unfolding of undeclared, unregistered, or banned demonstrations; failure to respect the scheduled hours, routes or the location of and perimeter allocated to the demonstration; organising or taking part in counter-demonstrations that take place in the same place and at the same time with the declared demonstrations, regardless of the protest means used.

 

Corruption Kills subsequently announced it will not organise a protest on Saturday, the day of the PSD rally

 

Corruption Kills (Coruptia Ucide) protesters announce that on Saturday, the day of the PSD rally, they will not take part in any demonstration, with their protest set to take place on Sunday instead. The decision comes after #resist protesters had informed that they will stage a protest in Victory Square to coincide with the PSD rally.

“After we carefully weighed all options, our decision is the following: on Saturday, Corruption Kills will NOT make overtures liable to impede the unfolding of this rally. We are aware that the temptation of a vehement reaction is strong among a part of the protesters, and the desire to “protect our square” is very high,” reads a press release posted on Facebook by Corruption Kills.

The protesters point out that the Bucharest City Hall is breaking the law because they lodged with it a notification according to which they will protest in Victory Square from January to December 2018.

“In the context in which the BCH is informed – via a notification lodged in line with law no.1593891/26.01.2018 – that protests will take place in Victory Square from January to December 2018 (because there are people who have been protesting daily in the Square for the past year and a half), the City Hall’s gesture shows contempt toward the protesters. The BCH has broken the law, offering PSD a protocol for VS [Victory Square] while another protest is legally taking place there. (…) The people who will come to this rally have no clue why they are taken there and, especially, are not there out of conviction, based on the information we have. The reason for the protest has already been changed at least 3-4 times (from a rally in favour of the traditional family to a rally of support for the Government or against abuses?),” the press release reads.

Likewise, Corruption Kills emphasises that their presence outside the Government building would be precisely what PSD protesters want.

“We have solid reasons to consider that our presence there is actually what the ruling coalition wants, and it would mean playing into their game. Even if we were to protest peacefully, and our purpose were to be strictly to mock the reasons for which the rally was organised or to create a dialogue with its supporters, our presence would almost inevitably lead to conflicts. This would immediately allow the PSD to pose as a victim. The chances are very high that people specially trained to stir up trouble would be there, to suggest we are not allowing them to exercise the right to protest,” the protesters add.