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Protests in Romania enter their second week

category international | anti-capitalism | other press author Tuesday January 24, 2012 14:22author by pat c Report this post to the editors

The Romanian people fight back against austerity. The Irish could learn a few lessons from them. Full text at link.

As protests in Romania enter their second week, workers are facing increased pressure and threats from the ruling elite. The first demonstrations were triggered by the forced resignation of Dr. Arafat, a member of government who had publicly opposed a health care bill that would privatise the Romanian public health system. President Traian Basescu, who personally championed the bill, quickly tried to ease tensions by withdrawing it on Friday, January 13, the first day that demonstrators gathered in Bucharest to protest outside the Presidential Palace

On Saturday, more people tried to reach the Presidential Palace but were met with large numbers of riot police. Demonstrators then gathered in the center of Bucharest, in University Square, where police charged several times with tear gas and batons into a crowd with many children and large numbers of elderly.

Sunday saw the greatest use of force by the Romanian state since 1998, when paramilitary police were used to prevent striking miners from demonstrating in the capital, Bucharest. Even though the protest started peacefully, large numbers of riot police tried to forcefully break it up. Police forces then redeployed to prevent another group of protesters coming from nearby Unirii Square from joining with the main demonstration in University Square.

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