Sit-in protests outside PSD offices in several Romanian cities: “Justice laws are too important to be taken lightly”, says protester

Anca Alexe 14/12/2017 | 12:09

As the PSD-ALDE coalition is speeding up the process of changing some of the country’s most fundamental justice laws, which will be followed by changes to the penal code, protesters are finding more creative ways of making themselves seen and heard.

A group of young people in Sibiu set up a ‘corruption-free zone’ in front of the PSD offices in the city, where they have been carrying out a continuous sit-in which started on Monday at noon and is still ongoing.

The group is called “Va Vedem” (We See You) and they have found various creative ways to get attention, such as having a ‘silent protest’ while lighting up their smartphone flashlights or stomping their feet.

They are very active on their Facebook page and keep their followers updated constantly with live videos and reactions to new developments in the legislative chambers.

BR spoke to one of the members of Sibiu’s “Va Vedem” civic group, Andrei Soroaga, who told us: “We felt that these corrupt people are desperate to quickly pass the laws in order to get rid of their legal problems, and we couldn’t just sit by while it happened”.

Soroaga says that the main objective of the protest is to convince the coalition’s MPs to stop the process of changing justice laws so hastily, and allow a balanced and transparent debate, since these laws are too important to be taken lightly and the future of our country depends on the outcome of these actions.

The protest was organised organically, the activists claim, as a group of friends decided during the weekend to take action in a more creative way, and each of them talked to other acquaintances who agreed to take part in the sit-in.

According to Soroaga, other people who have passed by the area occupied by the group have mostly been supportive and many of them congratulated the protesters for what they were doing. There were a few negative reactions as well, but they were not significant.

The protest in Sibiu received a lot of coverage online, and new cities have joined the movement. Corruption-free zones and sit-ins were started over the last 24 hours in Bucharest, Brasov, Cluj and Timisoara.

Andrei Soroaga says that their group doesn’t have a leader and is not coordinated by any political party, despite the fact that a small number of participants are members of opposition parties.

PSD Sibiu reacted after the first day of the protest through a statement in which they expressed their disapproval of the group’s actions, claiming that they are making the people who work in the PSD building are feeling unsafe, that the protesters illegally connected to electricity poles on the street, and that they acted irresponsibly towards the children that joined them by keeping them out in the cold weather.

However, law enforcement has not taken any action against the protesters, as PSD had demanded in their statement, and Va Vedem said that they have the proper legal authorisations for their protest and that the children who were seen at the protest were only passing through with their parents and none of them spent more than a few minutes in the area.

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