An “anti-abuse” rally is being organized today as of 20:00 hrs by the ruling Social Democratic party (PSD), with hundreds of thousands expected to gather in the venue of the event – the Bucharest Victoria Square.
The relevant decision was taken in the PSD National Executive Committee (CExN) early last week.
“It is a rally organized against long-standing abuse, a rally to protest democracy and the rule of law having been seriously challenged and even harmed for several years now in Romania. We are calling this rally to show that we are determined to go all the way for Romania to become a democratic country, a country where the citizens’ fundamental freedoms and rights are respected, as set forth in the Constitution of Romania and all the international treaties Romania is a signatory of,” said PSD Chairman Liviu Dragnea at the end of the party’s CExN meeting. He invited all those wishing to “live in a free country” to join.
Although he didn’t nominate the institutions which he deems to be committing abuses, stating that he will elaborate on the subject at the event, Dragnea mentioned these are the enforcement agencies and that they are not limited to the Romanian Intelligence Service and the National Anticorruption Directorate.
“No one is compelled to come to the rally, but at the same time all those who have been silently suffering and who did not react when their pensions were cut, when their phones were wiretapped, who witnessed abuses piling up, they are all welcome to join the rally Saturday evening and freely express themselves. (…) We want to mount a safe demonstration, but at the same time we are waiting for everyone who wants to vent their discontent. This is not an exclusive PSD rally,” said the Social Democrat leader.
Premier Viorica Dancila said she will be there too “in her capacity as PSD member and party executive chairperson,” insisting that this is not a rally in support of the government, but against abuses.
PSD’s ruling partner, the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE), announced they would participate with senior party members included: “Yes, we do take part [in the PSD rally]. It’s called to protest all judiciary abuses in recent years, the grave errors and illegalities committed, the cooperation agreements between the intelligence agencies and judicial institutions, everything we see has happened and which in the end harms the element that is fundamental to any democracy: the respect for the citizens’ rights and freedoms, an eminently liberal and European value the European liberal democracy was built upon,” said ALDE head Calin Popescu Tariceanu.
Bucharest General Mayor Gabriela Firea said that as several demonstrations will be taking place in the capital city today, the local authorities’ capacity to handle the situation is put to the test. She said the request for the authorization of the PSD rally states an estimated number of 200,000 – 250,000 participants and that the mayoralty and the competent authorities – the Traffic Brigade, the Streets Administration and the Municipal Police – have assigned several locations for the incoming buses and cars to park and designed a plan to manage the crowd inflow and then clear the venue so as to prevent all incidents. An arrival schedule for the vehicles from various counties has also been established to avoid overlaps and traffic overflow. According to rally organizer, PSD Secretary general Marian Neacsu, the meeting is expected to last around one hour and a half.
The US Embassy issued a demonstration alert for June 9, advising that four separate demonstrations and protests are expected to take place on this day in Bucharest (the LGBT rally and march, the ‘Normality’ rally and march by Noua Dreapta, the PSD rally, and a counter PSD rally) and that the number of attendees is expected to be large, so that normal pedestrian and vehicular traffic in the respective areas are likely to be adversely affected.
The Embassy advises US citizens to avoid aggressive or agitated crowds while remaining alert and aware of their surroundings at all times.
PNL’s Orban on upcoming PSD rally: Deeply undemocratic intimidation action
Chairman of the National Liberal Party (PNL) Ludovic Orban argues that the rally organized this Saturday by the Social Democrats “is a deeply undemocratic action to intimidate the opposition, the magistrates, the free people, the civil servants and the public system employees unwilling to respond to political orders.”
“It’s obvious to anyone with common sense that one cannot stage a rally against abuses when you are in power. Abuse can only be committed by those in power, and you cannot rally to protest your own actions. There’s another rationale for this demonstration. First, the choice of the venue clearly shows the intent to confiscate the symbolic location of anti-PSD protests that have been running in the past year and a half. Just recall that [Bucharest mayor] Firea has previously attempted to hijack the venue by inventing a Christmas fair. Secondly, we should note that the date was picked one day after the Court was supposed to hand down the verdict in Dragnea’s case. Therefore the intention to put pressure on the decision-making judges is evident. Thirdly, the rally is organized in the aftermath of the Constitutional Court ruling [regarding the anti-corruption head] and is aimed at putting pressure on the President of Romania. In the fourth place, the rally is organized ahead of PNL’s announced censure motion and attempts to instill fear into all parliamentary majority lawmakers who would intend to vote in favor of the motion. In conclusion, this rally is a deeply undemocratic act to intimidate the opposition, the magistrates, the free people, the civil servants and the public system employees unwilling to respond to political orders, the journalists who are critical of PSD, any Romanian who doesn’t accept to be the servant of the whip-cracking boss,” Orban wrote on Saturday on Facebook.
He went on to remark that “waves come and go” and encouraged the people to not “let themselves impressed by the drummed up crowd that Dragnea’s communist cronies are trying to use as a psychological threat against us.”
“They will take the square for one day, but otherwise Victoria Square and the victory remain ours,” wrote Ludovic Orban.
ALDE Chairman announces 22,000 to attend Victoria Square rally on alliance behalf
Chairman of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats (ALDE) Calin Popescu-Tariceanu announced that 22,000 people will represent the political formation at the rally slated this evening in the Victoria Square of Bucharest.
“We did the calculation with the numbers announced by our organizations and some 22,000 people are expected to come to Bucharest,” Tariceanu told private broadcaster Romania TV.
In his opinion, hundreds of thousands “will make their voice heard” on Saturday in Bucharest, and this “will not be in vain.”
“Their voice will be well heard and I believe that all those who have a responsibility today in Romania will have to take into account that these here represent millions and that there are probably other millions of people who are equally worried and fearful about tomorrow and who want a better and freer Romania for the next generations,” Tariceanu said.
He also underscored that he expects the rally to reverberate broadly and to make the rounds worldwide.
“Such a demonstration cannot remain without reverberation, and that’s not only in Romania, but in the entire world. Despite dissident attempts to divert the significance of the manifestation and to depict it in colors other than reality, the truth eventually emerges. Truth is always stronger,” said Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.