Dressed in white clothes, with small flags and placards in their hands, dozens of thousands of people arrived in Bucharest to support the PSD rally. Even if some of them didn’t know what they came for or what the parallel state is, they enjoyed the terraces in Bucharest, walks on Calea Victoriei and Simona Halep’s match.
Since the afternoon, dozens of coaches from all over the country were disembarking thousands of people dressed in white clothes, equipped with flags and placards, in the Charles de Gaulle Square and in the Romexpo parking lot.
Many of them arrived in Bucharest for the first time, and after many hours on the road, people were confused, without knowing where they should go to reach the Victoriei Square.
“We have a guide, but I don’t understand very well where we should go. We also don’t know from where we can buy some water. We traveled hundreds of kilometers from Suceava, but we’ll manage to get to Victoriei Square by the time when the protest begins” said a 49 years old man.
Asked where he is going, a protester said: “To be honest, I don’t know! We are like sheep! All of us believe the guy in the front is smarter than the one from behind”.
“We came to protest against the abuses committed by the Romanian judiciary in Romania” said one of the protesters.
While hundreds of people were trying to find their way to the meeting place, other hundreds of people were singing Romania’s anthem in the Romexpo parking lot.
After succeeding to leave the coaches area, a group of approximately 20 people from Maramures stopped to a terrace in the University Square area. They ate, drank a beer and watched the Normality March passing by them.
The same happened in the Victoriei Square, where the terraces were overwhelmed by the PSD supporters, who could be easily recognized, since all of them were dressed in white.
Many protesters who arrived only a few hours before the rally started enjoyed short walks on Calea Victoriei.
“We went early this morning. We’ve prepared ourselves for this rally since two days ago. We come from Botosani and it’s the first time when we are in Bucharest. It’s a beautiful city with old buildings where I think boyars were living. God help us to come again here” said Dorina.
Around 17.00 o’clock, three hours before the rally, there were already thousands of people in Victoriei Square, watching Simona Halep’s match in the Roland Garros final and holding their breath. The organizers of the rally broadcast the match on the screens placed in the front of the Government building.
When the rally started, Victoriei Square and the adjacent streets were blocked by dozens of thousands of people who were listening to the politicians’ speeches on the parallel state, about they didn’t know much, but they could guess what it means.
“I came to do what everybody is doing. I am supporting the party, and the parallel state means the other party. I am from Constanta and I believe it was worth for me coming here tonight” said one of the supporters.
“We don’t have to be led anymore, we have to be free. Those who lead us do it very bad, we have very low salaries. The Government is led by Iohannis and Dragnea. I don’t know what the parallel state means” admitted Vali from Vaslui.
“The parallel state? What should this be? I think it is the state and the judiciary, which is parallel to… you know! I mean, probably we have two powers, I don’t know how to say it”.
“Why did we come to the protest? To be honest, it’s for the first time when I see Bucharest. I didn’t receive any money and I traveled for five hours. I don’t know who leads the Government, Iohannis is the President and Dragnea is the Prime Minister” said a man from Galati.
However, there were a lot of people hoping that this rally can change something in the Romanian judiciary.
“I came to protest against the abuses and parallel state led by DNA, which commits many abuses. My husband is working in the administration system, and I can’t sleep by night because I am afraid not to find out that a fake case was made against him. We are afraid now from doing good things and invest in our communities just to avoid DNA to question us. Although everything is done on SEAP, they question us abusively” explained Elena Matita, 53 years old, from Ialomita.
“First of all, we came to fix all the mistakes made in Romania after the Revolution. I wish Romanian people to come back home, we remained so few ad we are so divided. I want a cleaner Romania, without a parallel state and without Securitate officers. Politicians have the obligation to do something concrete for the country, in order for us not to have such a divided state” said Dan Balmus, 53 years old, from Cotnari.
Since the political speeches exceeded the time allocated to the rally, thousands of people left the Victoriei Square right when the PSD leader Liviu Dragnea was speaking on the stage.
Asked why they leave while Liviu Dragnea is speaking, the protesters said: “We must respect our schedule”.
The PSD rally against abuses in justice ended approximately a half of hour later than the scheduled closing time.
Close to the closing moment, while Liviu Dragnea was speaking, the message of the Victoriei Square during the anti-governmental #rezist protests was projected on the Government’s building.
Protesters left hundreds of heaps of garbage that suffocated the Victoriei Square.
Asked by journalists if he is pleased about how Victoriei Square looks after the rally, Liviu Dragnea said: “Cleanup will be made right away”.
While he was leaving the protest place, several people cried out to the PSD leader: “Shame on you!”, “You have ruined a county, now you’re ruining a country!” (Mediafax)
Bucharest City Hall after Victory Square left full of trash after PSD rally: Cleaning workers intervened promptly and cleaned the area in less than one hour
Victory Square was cleaned up in less than one hour, the Bucharest City Hall announced on Sunday, after the entire square and adjacent streets were left full of plastic bottles, pieces of paper and torn placards at the end of Saturday’s PSD rally, an event in which over 150,000 people took part. The City Hall points out that the cleaning up of Victory Square is not something unprecedented “as suggested,” because in the case of all public events the organisers have the obligation to clean the areas in which the events took place.
“Considering the false information circulating online, regarding the cleaning up of Victory Square, the Bucharest City Hall points out the following: immediately after the end of the public event that took place last evening in Victory Square, in which hundreds of thousands of people took part, the cleaning workers hired by the organisers intervened promptly to clean the area,” the Bucharest City Hall points out.
The representatives of the institution state that, in less than one hour, 100 workers and 10 machines (street sweepers, street washing units, machines for the loading and transporting of trash) cleaned up the whole perimeter in which the event took place.
The municipality adds that the cleaning up of the Victory Square is not unprecedented, “as suggested,” since event organisers have the obligation, through protocols, to clean the areas in which the public events took place.
“Even though the desire is to suggest that the cleaning of this Square represents a “unique” event, we point out that at all public events – assemblies, festivals, concerts, etc. – the organisers have the obligation, via protocols concluded with the Bucharest City Hall, to ensure the cleaning up of the areas in which the events took place. We emphasise that all areas in Bucharest in which public events took place were cleaned up during the night,” the BCH adds.
The protesters left behind heaps of plastic bottles, pieces of paper and torn placards. The cleaning workers who intervened immediately after the square emptied out were joined by several members of the ‘Corruption Kills’ civic group, who showed up with plastic bags and hand gloves and took part in the clean-up.
Reactions to the PSD rally
Elena Udrea: This rally should have been done a long time ago in Romania
Elena Udrea stated on Saturday on Facebook that the rally organized by PSD in Victoriei Square should have been done a long time ago, mentioning that there are dozens of people in Victoriei Square who voted for the opposition, but they are “there with all their enthusiasm”.
“This rally should have been done a long time ago, and Romania wouldn’t have been today the country with a so-called democratic system and rule of law in which the biggest abuses in justice take place. The silent majority needed to show that it is against the gross violations of the law and of the minimal rights of the citizens, performed by the Securitate officers and their servants. But no one was able to organize it” Elena Udrea wrote on her Facebook page.
She said that people who voted for the opposition are also present at the PSD rally.
“There aren’t just PSD members in the Square. Not at all. I know dozens of people who voted and will vote with the opposition parties and who are there with all their enthusiasm and conviction. Unfortunately, it was organized by Dragnea… And this is how the System succeeded once again to destroy the Romanian right political wing and make PSD and Dragnea great…” Elena Udrea added in her Facebook post.
Basescu: “The deep state? I made it, and Dragnea licked it! It’s hard to find a more despicable person”
Former President Traian Basescu criticized on Sunday the PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, stating that “it’s hard to find a more despicable person”, that at the Saturday rally he had a speech full of perfidy and deceit in which he said that Traian Basescu created the Deep State.
“The deep state? I made it, and Dragnea licked it! It’s hard to find a more despicable person than Dragnea.
At the Saturday rally from Victoriei Square, he stigmatized ‘the deep state’ with a proletarian anger, in front of around 100,000 naïve people brought on the basis of an ‘attendance table’ from all over the country. The one from Teleorman who got rich overnight forgot to tell the naïve people from Victoriei Square that from 2010 to 2014, twice a week, he was meeting the representatives of the ‘parallel state’, Maior, Kovesi, Coldea and Ponta (another character), Dancu, in the SRI villas K2 and T14, and they masterminded the country related to files and arrests, especially after May 2012, when Ponta (another great character) became Prime Minister” Traian Basescu wrote on his Facebook page.
Basescu is wondering why Dragnea didn’t tell “the naïve people from the square” “how he was caressing Laura Codruta Kovesi’s plaster, offering her fresh pork rinds brought from Teleorman and scorched at T14”.
“I wonder why Dragnea didn’t tell to the naïve people from the square how he was caressing Laura Codruta Kovesis’s plaster, offering her fresh pork rinds brought from Teleorman and scorched at T14?
I wonder how the naïve people from the square would have received the news that Dragnea was one of Mrs. Kovesi’s supporter for the nomination as the DNA Chief-Prosecutor in 2013. Or the news about the public support for Mr. Kovesi’s re-nomination made by Iohannis in 2016.
Or, perhaps the naïve people from the square would have wanted a glass of expensive red wine from the bottles you were carrying to Coldea? And guess what? In the epochal speech, full of perfidy and deceit, an idea came to Dragnea to say that Basescu created ‘the deep state’”, the former President also wrote.
“I will agree anytime that for 10 years, one of my objectives was to strengthen the state institutions. I also agree that sometimes these institutions committed serious abuses, for which prosecutors and judges must be held liable. I also support the idea that laws must be changed in order that abuses will not be possible anymore.
But if I created the ‘deep state’ which Dragnea wants to destroy or subdue, Dragnea is certainly also the one who passionately licked all the heads of the institutions of the ‘deep state’ whom he is accusing today. The conclusion of the ‘deep state’? I made it and Dragnea licked it” Traian Basescu concluded.
In the end, Basescu also wrote that “the phrase ‘deep state’ doesn’t have any coverage in reality”. “However, we are talking about prosecutors, judges, heads of force institutions, secret protocols, selective criminal cases, etc., while here we are talking about the quality of some people who must be held liable for their abuses, and not about institutions, which must be strengthened forwards, and not destroyed” Basescu concluded his message posted on Facebook.
PNL’s Ludovic Orban: PSD rally – much ado about nothing
National Liberal Party (PNL) leader Ludovic Orban told Sunday evening a press conference in Targu Mures that the rally organised by the Social Democratic Party (PSD) in Bucharest a day ago was “much ado about nothing.”
“Much ado about nothing. The day of June 9 will go down in history as the day Simona Halep won the Roland Garros. The rest of the events came second. It seemed to me I was in a parallel world. I saw was often mentioned, something that honestly left me a little baffled. I believe they spent a lot of time in the sun and that tampered with the clarity of the judgment of those who held speeches. (…) Firstly, it is the prerogative of totalitarian regimes for parties at rule to organise rallies. In no democracy in this world can I recall a governing party organising protests against abuse. The abuse can only be performed by someone in power. (..) As such, most abuse the Romanian citizens have been subjected to are carried out by those who organised last night’s rally. They are slightly masochistic, they protested against the abuse they themselves perpetrated,” Orban maintained.
He affirmed that “unimaginable nonsense” were said at the PSD rally, as the PSD members and leaders signed the protocols with the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), had inappropriate relations with people from the intelligence services.
“All the phantasmagoria, in stark contrast with reality, that were said by some desperate individuals, with their eyes popping out of their sockets, who own the power, show that they have lost the sense of reason, that they live in a parallel reality, that they have forgotten about their basic mission – to govern Romania and bring prosperity to citizens whereas instead they are fighting an invisible enemy which as a matter of fact does not exist and they are fighting against themselves,” Orban said.
He considers that by organising this rally, PSD wanted to confiscate symbols – Victoria Square where corruption is protested against, Romania’s flag, the slogan #Resist! and was intended at the same time to put pressure on Justice.
“They wanted to put their stamp that Victoria Square belongs to them and it is not the first attempt. (…) Secondly, to put Romania’s flag on a Government building at a political manifestation of a political party seems a blatant violation of the law and any common sense norm. The Romanian flag belongs to the entire nation, it does not belong to a political party. But, beside that, to display “#Resist!” which is practically a slogan, a message-symbol of the powerless people, of the common citizens, of the citizens who have willingly stood up to fight against the abuse committed by a power that is anti-Justice, to get to a point where to confiscate such a symbol shows boundless villainy. And also an attitude and contempt towards these free citizens, worthy of a communist party,” Ludovic Orban stated.
He further maintained the rally was “certainly” conceived to put pressure on the justices who were due to make the decision on 8 June in “DGASPC Teleorman” case in which Dragnea is on trial.
“This rally is organised after the CCR [Constitutional Court of Romania, ed.n.]’s decision and is intended to intimidate the President. As a matter of fact, well informed sources are saying that Dragnea was prepared to announce the suspension of the president in his speech, in case the President does not remove from office Kovesi [National Anticorruption Directorate, DNA, head, ed.n.]. He no longer did this, but this is what the PSD people have in mind,” the PNL leader affirmed.
According to him, the rally also had the role “to intimidate any parliamentarian who is no longer on Dragnea’s side” and wants to vote a censure motion.
“It was not by mistake that my name was mentioned alongside the name of President Iohannis rather frequently, in not very flattering contexts and not exactly in line with reality. In my opinion, they failed with this rally,” the Liberal leader said.