On April 8 2009, people knew that the evening before it was said that the protests will continue and that meeting hour was 10 AM in PMAN (the National Square, in front of the Government building). That morning I was crossing the Stefan cel Mare boulevard, through the National Square and by the Government building. The “Scut” forces were already there around the building. I was following www.unimedia.info and www.curaj.net where events were posted almost every hour about what was going on. At lunch time we went to PMAN to see for ourselves what was going on. It was around 1,000 or maybe 2,000 people that were standing in the sun, cheering same old “Down with the communists!” but for people passing by it was not clear what was the message of the people speaking in the megaphone, the leader was also not clearly identified.
But I randomly ran into some students that were yesterday protesting in front of the parliament and who were willing to share their story. According to them, they were peacefully protesting in front of the Parliament, but mainly directed to the Presidency (as in facing the Presidency) when at one point, around maybe 200 “Scut” forces got out of the Parliament building through the front door and started marching towards the crowd, beating young people with their bats while these were running away. At a certain moment some from the crowd started screaming “look it’s only a couple of them, but it’s more of us, let’s press them!” And then it all started and from the crowd rocks started to fly towards the policemen.
After talking to them we went to see what is going on in front of the Presidency – it was guarded by same “Scut” forces, while people were cleaning the mess left from the previous day. In front of the Parliament was no one, and people were sitting around on the grass as if they were on a Sunday picnic, eating popcorn, drinking water/juice/cola/fanta/sprite and talking (I overheard some regular conversations – about the nice weather, about some boyfriend/girlfriend problems, personal financial issues etc.).
Check it out:
So, in front are the Moldovan ones, behind are the separatist one; the driver gets questioned about the numbers – and he says he does not know.
I get a phone call from my parents being preoccupied for my safety as they heard on the news that Voronin (Moldova’s president) allowed force to be applied to the protesters and the police can open fire if the protesters go crazy, besides this the Romanian Ambassador to Moldova was declared persona non-grata and starting with April 9th a visa regime for Romanian citizens will enter into force.
The altercations at the corner of the Government building cool off. Later around 7-8 PM an interesting scenario could be observed: the peaceful protesters were standing in front of the Arch and the provocateurs were standing on the stairs that lead to the main entrance of the Government building screaming “Down with the communists” and “We are not leaving”; a couple of meters further the crowd is screaming “No violence!” and “Freedom”. Besides this, one young men was walking with the megaphone through the crowd saying “Do not let yourself provoked. Be careful! We are protesting peacefully! Do not use violence! Do not let yourself be provoked!” If one would pay attention at the 2 crowd – the bigger peaceful one (around 1,500 people) and the smaller one (around 100-200 people) one could tell a light difference – people standing in front of “Scut” were young, well build men, with black jackets (most of them) and have their face covered with a bandana or wearing sun glasses and holding bottles from mineral water with rocks in it that helped them make noise. The others did not have their face covered; no sunglasses and boys/men did not have their heads shaved, but were having a short haircut (if such was the case).
Other events/facts going on yesterday, updated today:
1. A video how a policeman is breaking rocks just behind the Presidency went online on www.jurnaltv.md. The video was made from the high-school just behind the building of the Presidency
2. A lot of people could not access facebook when they got home and they had to change their proxies.
3. Police were taking people off the streets behind the Government building:
What happens in this video is the following – protesters in front of the building heard that behind the building police dressed in civilians is randomly taking kids/youth and arrest them, but firstly beating them. SO the crowd goes with questions and they do not get answers and in the middle of this video you can see civilians beating other civilians and carrying them towards the Government building to the police. At the very end of the video one of them, also dressed in civilian comes holding a bat in his hand saying run away from here, go tape in front of the building and the cameraman asked “why should I run? Are you going to hit me?”
4. Thanks to the photographer Ion Grosu, I could find out about a lady who was showing he ID with 2 stamps “voted” on it with the date of 05.04.2009, Election Day. This stamp receives each citizen before voting; when she asked why does she has 2 of them she was screamed at and told to mind her own business. She also said that she saw the name of people she knew were dead on the election list. See the photos here.
5. The cameraman from JurnalTV, last night, around 10 PM was beaten. Oleg Brega received a phone call saying that behind the Government building young people were beaten by almost 20 men dressed in civilians, when he got there and started taping, the men stopped when noticing him and said “stop!Wwe are being taped”. Right after this, around 4-5 men, 2 dressed as police officers and the others as civilians put him to the ground asking why is he taping and when he identified himself as cameraman and someone recognized his voice he was severely beaten Oleg, the cameramen of www.jurnaltv.md , did not get severely injured but he got several contusions. You can watch the interview with him here (it’s in Romanian, but the short version of what he is saying is written at p.5):
6. At the Emergency, the cameraman from www.publictv.md was sharing his experience of being beaten by police. Some provocateurs approached him and said “let’s go as police are beating ours” (ours to be understood as protesters). The boy went with the provocateurs and was saying “no violence!” but then he understood that these were policemen dressed in civilian who have bitten him severely, got him into a car, drove around the capital, at some point changed the car registration numbers from police registration numbers to regular ones. When they got to the police station he got bitten again “They are mocking us! They treat us like dogs! All the time they were hitting me I kept praying to God! At one point I fainted and one of them gave me water!” At some point the policemen concluded to set him free and he was followed on his way to the hospital. “When I got here and I saw one of the policemen entering the room in the hospital where I was, I got scared and I started screaming to get him out of here!”. The young men’s name is Octavian and you can watch him talking here.
7. Tonight when I got home I checked the internet again to find this video and the comment below this video says: “it is said that the provocateurs that started to throw rocks into the buildings of the Presidency and the Parliament came equipped from home, each carrying a backpack. From the images one can well see that one of those wearing a backpack goes up the stairs of the Presidency in a hurry while others keep standing (please remember in one of the previous notes I was mentioning how the crowd made a corridor so that the “Scut” could go out, so that is the corridor this guy is going up to the Presidency). What was the hurry of this young man? We later see him protesting in the crowd. Even though we cannot see very clearly his face, one can tell by other indicators that it is one and the same person. Eventually, we see him on the top of the Presidency, on the roof carrying the EU flag”.
What will April 10th bring?