Pro-Monica First of March Trinkets in Revolutiei Square
Bucharest, February 27 – “Early Elections”, “No More”, “Monica” and “Down with Voiculescu” were the slogans chanted by thw over one thousand bearers of “pro-Monica” trinkets who attended the rally held in Revolutiei Square on Tuesday afternoon.
Ada Milea’s songs were the musical backdrop to the whole event, initiated by several civil society organizations, amongst which APADOR-CH, the Romanian Academic Society, the Group for Social Dialog and Societatea Timisoara.
Thus, an event that reminded one of the protests held in Revolutiei Square once upon a time, wished to express this time, civil society’s backing for Justice Minister Monica Macovei, as well as for the law on the National Integrity Agency.
The participants were asked to sign their names in colored felt pen on large cardboard plaques whose titles read, “Vote against the Senate. We support Monica Macovei and the National Integrity Agency”.
Some of the organizers stood out in the crowd due to their reflective orange vests, on the backs of which Monica Macovei’s name was written. They wore white and yellow trinkets with the words “Monica Macovei” and “pro-Monica”.
A short time after the meeting had begun, Liberal Democrat Party officials showed up, among whom Gheorghe Flutur, Mona Musca, Radu F. Alexandru, Raluca Turcan and Cristian Boureanu.
“I came here as a Liberal Democrat representative, as well as a common citizen and a former colleague of Monica Macovei. I think Monica Macovei has shown that she has the courage to fight and to reform the justice system and to take several problems pertaining to the anti-corruption struggle head-on”, Gheorghe Flutur told reporters.
The animated crowd frequently interrupted those who spoke on the microphone by chanting such slogans as “Down with Voiculescu”, “Early Elections!”, “Monica”, “Down with Corruption”. At a certain point, the participants started chanting in one voice, “Down with Parliamen,” but Alina Mungiu Pippidi suggested that, instead, they chant “A Cleaner Parliament!”, a phrase that the crowd quickly adopted.
Also among those who addressed the crowd were representatives of the Group for Social Dialog such as Radu Filipescu and Andrei Cornea, journalist Traian Ungureanu, Romanian Academic Society president Alina Mungiu Pippidi, Sorin Iliesu and Civic Alliance representative Serban Radulescu Zoner.
Andrei Cornea mentioned that several NGOs were planning to hold a counter-rally, while Alina Mungiu Pippidi promised that the next civil society protest will be held at Parliament headquarters. Choosing the National Theater for the Tuesday meeting was explained by the presence of Revolution veterans.
“We are very strong”, Traian Ungureanu started his speech, and then went on to accuse Parliament representatives of being more interested in saving themselves from the law. Attending organization leaders were assaulted during the brief moments of respite, by the participants, who kept asking them various questions.
After the speeches were over, Alina Mungiu Pippidi took it upon herself to answer some of these questions and explained that Tuesday’s protest was rather in support of the independence of the justice system, seeing as Monica Macovei’s time as minister is, after all, limited. She also explained to the participants that the nominal vote is only worth something in the wider context of better functioning state institutions.
Although it rained throughout the event, participants chanted slogans with all their might, frequently interrupting those who spoke on the microphone.
Besides the slogans they all chanted in one voice, the receptive crowd promptly interracted during the speeches, as some of the attendees would yell out “Down with the Mobsters!” or “Throw Corruption out of the Legal System,” whenever the speakers touched upon a more sensitive issue.
The protesters also brought their own plaques which they placed side by side with those prepared by the organizers and stood by the National Theater. They said, “Monica, forget about them, you go on with your tenacious work!”, “Don’t Sleep, Parliament is at Work for You”, “Vote against the Senate”, “Reform Justice to Kill Corruption”, “ANI with Teeth”, “Justice for Monica Macovei” and “M.M.+D.N.A.+A.N.I.=E.U.”.
After all the speakers took turns in front of the microphone, dozens of people stood in line to sign the petition in support of Monica Macovei.
The key figures who attended the meeting included Paul Cornea, Ion Vianu, Andrei Oisteanu, Traian Ungureanu, Gheorghe Gussi, Sorin Alexandrescu, Serban Radulescu Zonner, Vasile Paraschiv, Doru Maries, Sorana Cosoveanu, Christian Mititelu, Dan si Lia Perjovschi, Andrei Pippidi, Armand Gosu, Rodica Palade, Sever Voinescu, Daniel Vighi, Oscar Berger, Alexandru Mihalcea, Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Radu Filipescu, Gelu Trandafir.