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A country revolts against soulless political decision

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The biggest protest Romania has seen in its 20 years of democratic history 

Last night Romanians protested again for correct political decisions, for democracy and environment. I was at the protest in Bucharest. There were between 30.000 and 40.000 people marching on the streets of Romania’s capital. Teenagers, mothers with their babies, famous intellectuals and people like me gathered to protest against a soulless political decision: the Government’s attempt to approve by law a gold mining exploitation project at Rosia Montana, which is dangerous for the environment and people’s lives. The Project is owned through Rosia Montana Gold Corporation S.A. (RMGC), in which Gabriel Resources, a canadian investor holds an 80.69% stake with the balance held by the Romanian State.

The people protesting demanded that:

  • gold mining exploitation using cyanide is banned
  •  the law that will allow Rosia Montana Gold Corporation  to begin the exploitation is canceled
  • all politicians who supported the project should resign
  • Rosia Montana is included in the UNESCO heritage

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There in the crowd, I had the feeling that I was part of someting BIG, a revolution, and not just a march for the environment. There was love, dedication and  patriotism. There was a voice calling from Romanian’s hearts “the country will not be sold without its approval.”

This was the 14th day of protest. Environmentalists, nature and democracy lovers, all chose to be against the exploitation at Rosia Montana by means of Social Media, daily protests and marches.

Picture from Cluj, another big city in Romania that also went on the streets and protested. Around 10.000 people were present here.

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Why the Rosia Montana project threatens the environment and the people that live in that area.

The Rosia Montana exploitation project is one of the biggest gold exploitation projects in the world and has no other example to be compared with. The exploitation technique of gold will use cyanide, a toxic substance.

  • The company estimated that they will use 13.000 tones of cyanide per years whereas all gold exploitation projects in the world use only 1000 tones.
  • At the end of the project there will be a huge lake of cyanides – 215 millions of stere meters of cyanides and a barrage that will have to last forever in order to keep the cyanides away. Rosia Montana Gold Corporation uses this kind of technique because it’s the cheapest available.
  • The exploitation will take place on 1258 hectares of land. This means 4 mountains will be erased from the map.

Why does The Rosia Montana Projects violates democracy?

  •  First, the Government approved that all villagers living in the Rosia Montana area who refuse to sell their houses and land for the use of Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, will be expropriated, which means that the people will be taken out of their houses.
  • The Rosia Montana area has been declared a “mono-industrial” area, which means people can only work in minning. They are not allowed to farm, build or make other kinds of businesses.
  • The entire political class has been persuaded to act in the corporation’s interests. The entire Parliament, Government, Prime Minister and President, all support the project.

How did the Media in Romania “reflected” the events?

In the first week of the events, no television in Romania spoke about the Rosia Montana protests that were happening in Bucharest or in other major cities. Only after 10,000 people gathered last Sunday to march on the streets of Bucharest demanding that the exploitation of the Rosia Montana area stopped and that the political class would not sell the country to gold corporations, did television station start to aproach the subject.

Still, even at the present moment, none of the TV channels reflect in their coverage the entire  the reality of the streets. Also, with one exception, all of them have been airing Gabriel Resources’s commercials for the past 2 years which brought them huge revenues. This might very well be one of the reason why they chose not to report the events.

So, for a clear, undistorted picture of the events people got their information via Facebook shares, likes and comments under the slogan: “United we save Rosia Montana.”

Things aren’t over yet. Tomorrow the law in favor of Rosia Montana Gold Corporation starting the exploitation is due to be approved. We are still waiting for a miracle!

 

This is an example of how people built the campaign against the project via Facebook:

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Sources: Uniti Salvam 

Asociatia Vira 

I love Cluj

 

 

 


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