(Photo source: Daniel Vrăbioiu) It is truly wonderful to see!!! TRULY!! Tonight, the 15th consecutive day of protests in Bucharest against the gold-mining project aimed for Rosia Montana, tens of thousands of people have hit the streets protesting in the capital alone. The Romanian press report 8-15,000 but those out there say there must be around 25,000.
Protests are also taking place right now in other major cities across the country (Alba-Iulia, Cluj, Iasi, Craiova, Suceava, Buzau, Constanta, Timisoara, Sibiu, Targu Mures and Brasov), and the smaller towns haven't been sitting on their laurels, either. Oh, how good it is to see that at last, the Romanian people are up on their feet crying a unified and glorious NU!!! And every night, it has been peaceful, good humoured, elegant.
Romania is not alone in its fight against its own government and the Rosia Montana Gold Corporation. Across the world from London to New York, Vienna to Montreal, Madrid to Chicago, protesters have been out there at some point today showing their solidarity, side by side despite the miles that separate them, with those back home.
(Photo source: Sarah In Romania) Here in Paris, several hundred protesters waved banners, chanting "Unis, sauvons Rosia Montana!" "Oui à la nature, non au cyanure!" with SAVE ROSIA MONTANA t'shirts and the Romanian tri-colore flag giving a splash of colour and vibe to an otherwise grey and overcast day at the Esplanade du Trocadéro. Flyers were handed to interested Parisians and tourists and there was even some creative animation organised by Andrea M and friends - a huge bird (a phoenix perhaps?) in the Rosia Montana colours which swooped and soared across the marble slabs of the esplanade, drawing in yet more passers-by keen to speculate its symbolism.
The Paris protesters were supported by several associations widely known for defending patrimony (Pro Patrimonio France, OVR, RPER...), the Europe Ecology Green Party, La Maison Roumaine and specialised press for environmental issues. Two weeks ago, the protesters took root in front of the Paris UNESCO headquarters, av de Segur, demanding that Rosia Montana be added to their world heritage list. Last May, the region was added to Nostra Europa's list of seven sites at high-level danger in Europe, urging the Romanian government to 'ensure the highest level of protection of the unique cultural and natural heritage ofthe Rosia Montana area.' Whether that makes a jot of difference to the government or the Gold Corporation, one can only hazard a guess.
(Photo source: Sarah In Romania) It has been a tumultuous week, what with Gabriel Resources' shares plummeting, the declaration from Monica Macovei that the licence has perhaps expired in any case and then Gabriel threatening to slap Romania with a billion dollar lawsuit if the project doesn't get approval. One thing is for sure, however. No matter what games PM Ponta and the rest of the political class think they can play (I'm not even going to detail them - they aren't worth my time nor yours) and no matter how powerful RMGC think they are, the protesters are NOT going home. They will NOT give up their fight until the demands of the Alburnus Maior Association are met:
- the Parliament’s Chambers – the Senate and the Deputy Chamber – will reject through vote the law proposal;
- the Government will imediately reject through governmental decision the environmental permit for the Rosia Montana gold mine;
- Rosia Montana will be included on Romania’s Tentative List for UNESCO;
- Cyanide use in mining will be strictly forbidden;
Romania: The World's First Dystopia by Rupert Wolfe-Murray for Huffington Post (in English)
De ce merită salvat patrimoniul cultural de la Roşia Montană by Matei Dobrovie for Epoch Times (in Romanian)
Who is Roşia Montană? - or the Dawn of A New Generation by Oana Romocea for Huffington Post (in English)
#Roşia Montană. CE FACEM MAI DEPARTE by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi for Romania Libera (in Romanian)
Seriozitate de prim-ministru, cancerul și cheltuieli pentru sănătatea țării by Silvia Colfescu on her blog Istorioare Bucurestene (in Romanian)
Hipsterul dracului loveste din nou by Ruxandra Corduneanu on her blog 28B (in Romanian)
The Complete and True Story of Rosia Montana by Sam cel Roman on his blog An Eye On Romania (in English)
More news as it comes... this ain't over by a long chalk.
(Image left: Uniti Salvam)