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Bucharest protest against GEO modifying Criminal Codes continues in Victoria Square, hundreds protest outside Cotroceni Palace chanting “Down with Iohannis”

The protest against the GEO No.13/2017 regarding the amendments to the Criminal Codes continues on Sunday in the Victoria Square, with hundreds of persons demanding that the repealing or the annulment of the GEO 13/2017 to appear in the Official Journal of Romania, but also requesting the resignation of the Government.

The protesters chanted: “Dragnea, don’t forget, Romania is not yours!,” “Thieves!,” “Resign!.”

The protesters have placards reading “Repeal and then leave!,” Calarasi is on the street, for all the thieves to see it!,” “Thank you Cluj!,” “Teleorman is here!,” “Is it over? No. We are just starting!,” or “WE DON’T BeLIVIU.”

People protesting in Victoria Square demand the resignation of the Executive, but also early elections. They display placards reading: “Even the skeptics believe it’s possible,” “Dragnea, pack your bags!,” “We R The Champions!,” “We don’t want thieves in the country!,” “The more laws, the less justice – Cicero,” “Other masks, the same play,” “When you count us, add +64 !!! #Colectiv,” “I don’t want to leave anymore. You leave!,” “We are manipulated by our conscience,” “No violence. GEO 13 bullshit soup #resist!,” “Government must resign,” “Ploiesti is in the square, repeal and leave to the east,” “Down with the thieves and the corrupted Government. Zero trust,” “Leave!,” “The Revolution children are here,” “Our children will be free!,” “Repeal GEO.”

Ten members of a percussionist band played on Sunday at the protest in the Victoria Square against the ordinance amending the Criminal Codes.

“We don’t ask for anything, we came to support these people (the protesters – e.n.) (…) We perform. It’s not a show, it’s a protest,” one of the band members Nicu Dumitrescu stated, according to Agerpres.

Vlad Burcea, another member of the band stated that he came to support the people who have protested over the past few days and the ones who are currently in the square.

Moreover, the protesters displayed a huge banner, measuring over ten meters, reading “You made it… You united us!.”

In the area where juice, water, tea, chocolate, bagels and fruit are handed to protesters there is a banner displaying the message “Energy for democracy! For free!.” A child holds a placard reading: “Message for parents: don’t be good!.”

Some of the protesters are waving the Romanian flag.

Cornel Sain, one of the protesters came with the US flag. “It’s my way of thanking the US Embassy in Bucharest and the incumbent Ambassador for the manner in which they got involved in solving this crisis and for supporting the ones in the square. (…) The moment when you afford, as member of the Government, to have this type of attitude towards the people, for days in a raw, an attitude of defiance, then, the withdrawal of the GEO 13/2017 is not enough. This type of people have no place leading the nation (…) The credibility of this team is compromised. Another team at the Victoria Palace!,” he argued his decision.

David Stoica, a protester from Ploiesti, said that all the political class of Romania has to understand that Parliament should have no suspicions of crimes and sentenced people at rule.

In the Victoria Square there are also people that came with their children. The little ones are drawing on the asphalt or play hop-scotch.

Some of the drivers that passed by honked, as a sign of sympathy towards the protesters.

 

Over 100,000 people in Victoria Square, on 6th evening of protests

 

The number of protesters who gathered on Sunday evening in Capital’s Victoria Square reached over 90,000 after 20:30, according to some official sources.

This was the sixth night in a row when protesters take to the street.

In Victoria Square, protesters demanded the Government’s resignation and display placards reading messages such as: “You have managed, you have united us,” “When you count us, count +64 #Colectiv,” “We don’t believe you! A bandit, analphabet and slippery Government,” “To do list. Point 1. GEO No 13 repeal, Point 2: GEO 9 repeal, Point 3: Government resignation, Point 4: a new PSD head, Point 5: Clean Government,” “We want more than anything the PSD dissolution,” “Romania against corruption,” “We are not naive, we want honour and commonsense, not theft and arrogance,” “My mother doesn’t want an increased pension, she wants grandchildren with a future,” “United,” “I resist.”

Some are wearing vests over their clothes reading the names of the cities they come from. There are many parents with children.

Various light messages were projected on the Government building and on the blocks nearby, such as: “Romania,” “Europe,” “Thank you Bulgaria” and others.

Protesters gathered on Sunday evening in front of the Government headquarters in Victoria Square lit at the same time, at 21:00, their mobile phone screens and flashlights.

After a few minutes, they started to sing the National Anthem.

According to some official sources, there were over 120,000 people in Victoria Square.

People were making a terrible noise, using drums, vuvuzelas, whistles, they are waving Romania’s and EU’s flags, displaying placards with anti-government and anti-PSD messages.

Other light messages have been projected on the Government building and the buildings around.

 

Hundreds protest outside the Cotroceni Palace chanting “Down with Iohannis”. Liviu Dragnea: PSD doesn’t organize any rally or public demonstration today. The messages on the social networks are not from PSD

 

The Social Democrat Party (PSD) President Liviu Dragnea reacted on Sunday to the information according to which Social Democrat Party will organize a counter-demonstration at the Cotroceni Palace.

“Social Democrat Party doesn’t organize any rally or public demonstration today. The messages posted on the social networks are not from PSD” Liviu Dragnea wrote on his Facebook account.

The piece of information was also taken and published on the social network page of General Mayor of Bucharest Gabriela Firea.

However, a few hundred of people gathered at Cotroceni shortly before 15:00, yelling anti-Iohannis slogans.

The demonstration is not authorized by the City Hall, according to the information provided by the municipality. The people are on the sidewalk and the gendarmes have surrounded the area with fences.

The people are chanting “Down with Iohannis!” and have placards reading: “Resign!,” “We support the Government.”

 

 Dragnea: “I don’t want any conflict between Romanians and Romania to break in two”

 

Dragnea admitted on Saturday, in a statement for DCnews, that “PSD voters are extremely angry”, but he said that he doesn’t agree that PSD supporters should come out in the street, because “he doesn’t want any conflict between Romanians and Romania to break in two”. “I can say that PSD members and supporters cannot be controlled anymore, people want to come out in the street to express their profound disapproval of the movement inspired by Soros to which we are assisting. The party is organizing itself. I feel I will not be able anymore to control from headquarter the pressure from the branches in the country, which can bring out in the street, in Bucharest, almost one million people. Therefore, I decided to meet the coalition partners and PM to propose them a solution to this deadlock. Since we are responsible people, we cannot assist in breaking Romania because of President Iohannis’s irresponsibility. PSD voters are extremely angry, being aware of the value of their vote and that we are prevented to implement the proposed program. Another reason making them angry are the rumors circulating, according to which PM will be investigated. I will propose a solution to end the conflict, related to the GEO, which I hope PM will accept. We can even speak about abrogating the GEO, if PM will accept it. We hope this will convince our members and supporters not to come out in the street, escalating tensions. I don’t want any conflict of Romanians against Romanians and Romania to break in two. Because we cannot discuss anymore with rational arguments, but we face an incredible disinformation machine, while Romania needs peace and stability to be able to move towards prosperity, development and democracy”.

Three days ago, PSD Secretary General Codrin Stefanescu stated for Agerpres that “there are pressures to organize a rally of the supporters”:

“You should know that there is a great pressure from our voters, supporters and party members. The decision will be probably taken today, but the pressure is huge, it presses on our shoulders. I believe that each county leader will have to say what pressures are made in the territory and from the mayors and so on, and to make a very urgent conclusion today”.

 

Lia Olguta Vasilescu: I believe we should also go out in the street. Those from USR protest in the plenary hall like any homeless

 

Labor Minister Lia Olguta Vasilescu was supporting this idea on Saturday. Lia Olguta Vasilescu stated that, unlike the PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, she believes that Social Democrats should go out in the street to protest, because the current street movements are politicized.

She also criticized the USR parliamentarians who protest in the plenary “like any homeless”, and she claims that they threaten and insult her. The Minister commented one of the street slogans, “Abrogate and leave” which in her opinion demonstrates that “technocrats” are behind the protests.

“Just as I thought, the problem is not the ordinance or, better to say, the fact that we didn’t know how to explain it, but the fact that the technocrats, who are at the rally, all of them, want to come back to the Victoria Palace! They strongly activated themselves. They published our phone numbers on Facebook. The private ones, not those with subscriptions paid from public money, in order for us t be insulted, threatened, stressed”, Lia Olguta Vasilescu wrote on Facebook.

Vasilescu has also taunted the USR parliamentarians who protested in the plenary of the Parliament. “Not to mention the embarrassing circus made by USR in Parliament, with deputies chasing you even at the toilet to film you with the phone and yelling all the kind of insults behind you, deputies sleeping since four nights in the plenary hall of the Romanian Parliament, like any homeless, to show that they have conquered the most important state institution” the Minister also says.

The former mayor says that this is a plan to restore the “technocrat” government, including by the fires at Bamboo and Colectiv. “They tried with Bamboo in the same manner as with Colectiv. The scenario was the same. They don’t even have imagination” Lia Olguta Vasilescu mentioned.

She didn’t  agree that the provisions of the GEO on the criminal codes allow the theft from public money by decriminalizing the abuse of office for damages below RON 200,000, explaining that laws that punish corruption continue to exist. She says that the measure is designed to stop the cases in which the abuse of office “is good exactly because it can mean anything and it can be applied to anyone who ‘bothers’”.

“I believe we should also organize a rally! We, “the red plague”, who apply the best government program until now. At this point, I separate from Liviu Dragnea in opinions. It’s time for us to speak, too! I believe we should go out in the street! Parliament is the living room of some gentlemen and ladies who are homeless for the moment, and we have the feeling that we disturb them when we come to work in the morning. And they seem to be a little bit stressed that they didn’t have any place to take a shower”, she concluded.

 

Protest in Bucharest’s Victorie Square, day six: Massive crowds at Gov’t headquarters, rally ends after midnight (update)

 

The protest in Bucharest’s Victoriei Square in front of the government’s offices on Sunday that drew an approximately 120,000-strong crowd on the sixth straight day of rally, ended after midnight.

Some had already come at the site in the morning, some jogged around, others pedaled on stationary bikes. Several dozen students from Cluj also joined in, chanting “A heartfelt desire, free Romania!”, “United we save entire Romania!”, “We won’t quit until we see!”, “Jump in, all who truly want change,” “We don’t want to be a nation of drudgers,” “Resignation!”, “Romania, wake up!”, “Bucharest know this, Cluj is at your side!”

At 13:00 hrs there were several hundred people in the square, many parents with children who drew on the pavement and biked around.

Just like in the previous days the protesters handed hot tea, bottles with water, juice, chocolate, bananas, pretzels and candy.

Some held tricolor flags, other placards reading “Operation ‘Kick thieves out of country’ – mission accomplished”, “We are watching you.”

The crowd had increased to roughly 8,000 around 18:00 hrs according to official sources, with people calling for the government to resign and also for early elections. Some of the placards read: “Skeptics too think it’s doable,” “Dragnea, get your bundle and move on!”, “We R The Champions!”, “No thieves in the country!”, “The more laws, the less justice – Cicero”, “Different masks, same play,” “Do the count – add + 64!!! #Colectiv”, “You go. I stay!”, “It’s conscience that manipulates us,” “Out with the government of thieves and corrupt. Nil confidence,” “Go!”, “No OUG”, “Here they are, the children of the Revolution,” “Your children want to be free!”, “Scrap OUG”.

All thoroughfares to and adjacent to Victoriei Square were closed to traffic after 18:30 hrs, just like in the previous evenings. By that time the rally had grown to 12,000.

People started pouring in in the evening, so that according to official sources the number of demonstrators surged to over 120,000. Around 21:00 hrs the crowds in unison lit up their cell phones, lighters and lanterns creating a sea of waving bright spots.

There was a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the 1989 Revolution and of the Colectiv Club fire.

Video images of the protests in the country were projected on a building near the Gov’t headquarters and, as a fixture, at regular intervals the words of the National Anthem were screened on the same building for the crowds to sing along, as well as messages like “Next time come to the polls!”, “Resign!”, “Dragnea, Romania is not yours to milk!”

The crowd began to scatter after 22:00 hrs. A young woman needed medical attention towards the end of the protest; emergency medics determined that she was suffering from mild hypothermia.

 

Read alsoGovernment adopts emergency ordinance to repeal GEO modifying Criminal Codes, street protests continue

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