Thousands of Romanians protested peacefully in Bucharest’s Victoriei Square on Saturday, August 10, exactly one year after the diaspora protest of August 10, 2018, which turned violent after the riot police used force against the protesters. Estimations say that about 20,000 people participated in the protest organized on Saturday in Bucharest, according to local News.ro.
The protesters carried banners and chanted slogans against the ruling coalition, targeting mainly the ruling Social Democratic Party (PSD) and its government, and also against the Gendarmerie and the Police. They also demanded justice for the families of the two girls who were murdered by their kidnapper in Caracal, as well as for those injured during the violent protest of August 10, 2018.
German pianist Davide Martello was also present at the protest in Victoriei Square on Saturday evening, where he played for the protesters. Martello is known for travelling around conflict zones to play his piano. He previously came to Bucharest last year, when he played for the protesters gathered in Victoriei Square on September 8.
Smaller protests were also organized in other big cities across the country, such as Sibiu, Iasi, Cluj-Napoca and Brasov. In Cluj-Napoca for example, more than 300 people gathered in the city’s Unirii Square with banners and flags, unhappy that nothing has changed in the country since the protest of August 10, 2018, according to Mediafax. About 200 people protested in Iasi while in Sibiu the number of protesters went up to about 400.
The interim interior minister Mihai Fifor and the Bucharest Gendarmerie thanked the protesters for demonstrating peacefully. Meanwhile, Social Democrat senator Liviu Pop, a former minister of education, announced on his Facebook page that he would submit to the Parliament a bill on setting the Civic Unity Day on August 10.
On August 10, 2018, Romanians abroad and those in the country protested in Bucharest’s Victoriei Square against the ruling coalition and its government, and against their policies. The demonstration took a violent turn and many peaceful protesters, and even passersby or journalists, ended up being hurt by the gendarmes, which even used water cannons and tear gas against the protesters. The prosecutors opened an investigation in this case but without any result so far.