For over a week, squares and streets in dozens of cities and towns throughout romania have been occupied in an effort to stall or stop resource extraction that threatens the loss of homes, land, even whole villages. Poetry takes the street and people here, as elsewhere, discover the beauty of rebellion.
In solidarity, we post two texts from Centrul de cultura anarhista …
The two big struggles in Romania: a message for international solidarity!
Posted on 30/08/2013 by Grecu
Sunday, the 1st of September, will mark the beginning of a new age in the struggles which are carried out in Romania. Protests will occur in more than 10 cities across the country (and more cities are deciding to participate at this nation-wide protest every day) against gold mining and shale gas fracking. The same thing will happen in many cities across Europe and even in North America.
For more than 15 years, there is a struggle against a Canadian gold mining corporation that wants to exploit gold and silver from the Apuseni mountains, in the western part of the country, which would represent the biggest open-pit mining project in Europe. The corporation wishes to erase the village of Rosia Montana and four mountain tops, only to be replaced by a lake full of cyanide. The estimations are that there will be used about 200.000 tons of cyanide, only to process 200 tons of gold and a couple hundred tons of silver! What will be next is a apocalypse, with extremely high chances of toxic catastrophy across Romania, Hungary, the Danube river and even the Black Sea.
People are pressured to leave their homes, and those that remain and resist are going to be expropriated by the paramilitary private police of the company, of course in the name of the state and it’s so called „national interests”. Mass-media has been bought, the same happened to the Government. Three days ago, the Government has passed the law project that will permit this exploitation to occur. What remains between a wish and reality is the decision of the Parliament. And this thing happened even if, for 14 years, the Government admitted that there are many illegal things done by the corporation.
In the same time, Chevron is almost on the brink of fracking the earth beneath our feet! There already have been made a couple of illegal probes, and in some parts of the country, the villagers are boycotting the corporation by stealing the wires used for detonations which have been layed out illegally on their property. Some villagers also got physically abused by the private henchman of the private corporations doing the prospects (owned by non-other than Franck Timis, one of the people behind the Ro?ia Montan? project also). If they would start fracking, a very large portion of the country would be destroyed, and the environment heavily polluted! They tell us that we need shale gas to quit the dreaded dependency on Russian gas, but they say nothing about the fact that Romania is the one of the 3 European states that produces more gas than it uses. The problem is that we have privatized the natural gas and what is produced here is sold at cheap prices for the benefit of the powerful states of the Union while we import gas at very high prices.
People in the villages are informed and organized by activists, the majority of them shouting that if Chevron starts drilling, they will stop being peaceful, and take out their forks and resist! Words like „defending our land”, „industrial sabotage” and the likes can be heard more and more often. In some villages, the people have threatened the officials, and in others, like the city of Bârlad, that is the center of resistance against fracking, people take to the streets protesting in the thousands.
In the last couple of years, people from Romania forgot that they had a voice, that they had power, that they could change something. Many accepted the current situation of poverty and corruption, and forgot that they could unite and fight together. But Chevron and RMGC (Rosia Montana Gold Corporation – the Romanian „child” of the Canadian corporation) with the complicity of the state obliged us to wake up! People are very angry, they are fed up with what is happening for the last 24 years, since the so-called Revolution of ’89. They have had enough of the corrupt and dysfunctional political system and of the exploitative economical system. Every hope of this situation being just a phase of a wild capitalism (kind of local, Balkan – corrupt capitalism) that migrates towards a civilized, rule of law kind of capitalism has vanished. Since the states regulates by law theft and destruction what is the meaning of law? How benefits from the law and who are it’s victims? It is time to act!
This is a message for international solidarity! If we all are united against our common enemies, the State and Capital, one day, we could bring a better world in the place of the current one! Our commons are under attack: education, land, nature, water, health care just to name a few. In front of this new wave of primitive accumulation we must resist united and strong!
And the motto of the resistance is „The Revolution begins at Rosia Montana!”
The first week of protests in Romania: another message for international solidarity!
Posted on 09/09/2013 by Grecu
It’s Monday, and an old man is cleaning in front of my block of flats. It’s quiet outside, as if yesterday was a very big party all over the city. And you could say it was, but not in that certain way.
Yesterday was Sunday, and this meant one whole week of protests in Romania and abroad. It all started because the Government proposed to the Parliament to vote for a law project that will permit the destruction of Rosia Montana, actually, the kick-off of the biggest open-pit mining project in Europe. What remains between a law project and reality is the decision of the Parliament.
But the people said NO. This NO was for gold mining with cyanide, this NO was for shale gas fraking, this NO was for many actions that could damage, forever, the nature that still surrounds us.
In the first Sunday, the 1st of September, we were more than 15.000 in total, in all the cities that were protesting against gold mining and shale gas fracking. We were more than last year, in 2012, when, for more than 40 days, we protested against the Government. Two Governments fell, and the third, the present one, made more illegal and bad things to the people, than those before it. Including the Rosia Montana project, and shale gas fracking.
There were protests in more than 40 cities, in Romania, Europe, and even North America. But the press didn’t see anything. For the last 7-8 days, it was not the Police that made us trouble, not the people of the corporation (the miners of Rosia Montana Gold Corporation – RMGC), but the press.
They didn’t write anything in the news paper, show anything at the TV, maybe there were one or two radio stations that said what was happening in Romania. And, as far as I know, the radio stations remained to be the ones that continued to talk about the protests and about the project.
When reporters from TV appeared, they were telling only lies or that they were pushed, cursed, and things like this, by the protesters. Oh my!, their honor was washed away by these filthy protesters that didn’t like the media for one good reason: all the big mass-media trusts were bought by RMGC, and they were showing only what the corporation was paying for.
The first night went just fine. The first protest. We were feeling very powerful, we didn’t have this kind of big public demonstrations for more than a year; many have forgotten the feeling of being in the streets, with thoulsands of people that share a common goal, a common struggle.
We decided, in the city of Cluj, that we will meet next Sunday (yesterday). But our friends from Bucharest continued to protest even next day. They managed to maintain a critical mass of 1000-2000 people each and every night. From Monday, they started occupying squares, cross-roads, the parks in front of different Governmental institutions. On Tuesday, we did the same in Cluj. With only a 15 hours notification of the protests, more than 1500 people managed to gather in the Unirii square, and we started doing the same: occupying the streets and the squares.
The teachings from Gezi park came to Romania too: in Bucharest, they had working and discussion groups, in the streets, during the protests. They even come every day with some tents – that are more as a symbolic thing „we are not leaving the streets!” In Cluj we had public meetings to discuss how to organize for the next days. During this time, other cities were protesting. More and more independent journalists started to write on what is happening – and many wrote so nicely. People regained their power of making the stories, so they were writting opinions, posting photos, videos, proposals on their Facebook accounts. There is a big crave for real information, for real and true information. We don’t give up. We will not surrender.
The international press call this the Romanian Autumn. The Arab Spring, the Turkish Summer and the Romanian Autumn. More and more people decide that it is time to act. Too much not-acting hurts, not for the individual, but for the collective, for the future of our children and for the children that will be born sometimes in the future. We cannot permit a corporation to destroy nature!
So more and more people (from Romania, and not only) start acting. In New York, in Tokyo, in the steppes of Mongolia, in the skies. People send their solidarity messages to the people struggling in Romania. We start being more and more conscious.
People protested in front of the Romanian National Television, the TVR. TVR is OUR television, but they are bought too. They don’t show what they should show: what is happening in the streets.
A couple of days ago, there was a big match: Romania vs. Hungary. Except the fact that many Hungarian fascists supporters came, destroing the train they came with, and fighting with the Gendarmerie (destroying many terraces in their way), 3000 Romanian supporters shouted during the match: UNITED WE SAVE ROSIA MONTANA! You didn’t hear this on the TV.
And when the cameras were filming the banners of the supporters, they put a piece of paper in front of it. It is illegal to show the truth.
The second Sunday came. Tens of cities are protesting again, not only in Romania, but allover the world.
In Bucharest, the marches started from the sectors (neighborhoods with their own townhouse). Six marches, towards a single square. In Cluj, Eugen David, the president of Alburnus Maior, the NGO that started the struggle in Ro?ia Montan? (it is the NGO of the villagers that oppose the project), came along with his daughter and other villagers. He had a very motivational discourse. That the struggle will continue until all the demands will be met.
10.000 in Cluj. Almost 20.000 in Bucharest. And who knows how many thoulsands in other cities. It’s only one week we are protesting, but we are more than double. And the numbers will rise, each and every day.
People start feeling the alternatives. And that all of us are one big family, that must help eachother and those that are arround us. In Turkey, the protesters were called „capulcu”. We are called „hipsters”. We are the hipsters that will change Romania. And many people have faith in us, as we have in them.
Today, Prime-Minister Victor Ponta, one of the big enemies of the people, said that „We reject the Rosia Montana project, and we end the discussion”. They are afraid to be accused for undermining the national economy, as some politicians were a couple of days ago. They are afraid of us. They see we are spreading and we are more and more powerful. So they try to kill the movement however they think they could.
What was the response of Eugen David?
„We won a battle, but not the war!
Following the declaration of Prime-Minister Victor Ponta, the Save Rosia Montana Campaign announces that the street protests will continue until:
– The Parliament, through the Senat and Chamber of Deputies will vote to reject the law project;
– The Governments will reject the emergency procedure through a governmental environmental approval;
– Rosia Montana will be included in the Romanian list for UNESCO;
– Cyanide will be prohibited by law in mining activities in Romania;
– The four founders of the law project: the Minister for Large Projects (Dan ?ova), the one for Environment (Rovana Plumb), the one for Culture (Daniel Barbu) and the ANRM director (Gheorghe Du?u) will be dismissed;
The 9th of September, 2013”
The struggle continues!
For further information, see …