The Real Power

protest

I’ve been glued to the Internet for the past few days, reading everything available on the unrest in Romania. Amazed by what can be accomplished when people come together in large numbers, peacefully marching, unified behind a tragedy, demanding answers, demanding transparency. Demanding an end to corruption.

The tragedy in question was a nightclub fire on October 30th responsible for 32 deaths and counting, and hundreds in critical condition. A tragic event, but was it enough to bring tens of thousands of people in the street.

No, not on its own, of course.

inside the club

inside the club

This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. The club was not up to code (one exit, no alarms, no fire sprinkles, flammable soundproofing materials in a place not designed for pyrotechnics) because that’s how things are done when money is paid under the table.

Add to this a slow emergency response and hospitals unable to accommodate patients, add to this a prime minister who has been indicted on charges of tax evasion and money laundering, among other things (and who didn’t survive a no-confidence vote), and there is a huge problem.

So, Romanians took to the streets in every major city.

As a result the prime minister resigned — a good first step, but is it enough? My heart says no, but I’ve been gone for so long. I don’t really know how real reform would look like in Romania. However, I do remember the 1989  revolution when the Romanian people toppled a dictator.

So, people do have the power. The real power. They just forget how to use it until an unfortunate event brings them together.

Images courtesy: insideromania.com, jamaicaobserver, bbc.co.uk

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23 responses to “The Real Power

  1. I was unaware of this tragedy, and am hopeful for peace, fairness and safety, everywhere, esp. Romania.

    Fondly,
    Elizabeth

  2. Sorry to hear about this tragedy, Silvia. We have to remember that people do have power. Here in the U.S. I find it troubling that so many people don’t vote.

  3. Wow the tragedy in Romania was awful. However, I AM so impressed that they accomplished so much. Maybe they will be good examples for us!

  4. I had not heard about this. (I had heard about the nightclub fire. Just not the aftermath.)

  5. Joerubin27425@gmail.com

    “So, people have the power. – – – they just forgot to use it until – – -.”

    Very wisely presented, Silvia! I enjoyed your thoughts about Romania, incidentally where my mother was born in 1905.

    These days, a small geographic part of Romania is known as Moldova. Moldova became independent from the Soviet Union August 27, 1991, 86 years after my mother was born.

    I think back fondly to Moldova, as if I were there when my mother and grandparents lived in that part of the world, not far from Odessa, a port city of the Black Sea. The city where my fore-bears lived is known as Chisinau.
    Chisenau had a thriving Jewish population, with families involved in commerce, higher education, religion, and much more. The Jewish families in Chisenau are now nicely recovering after the periodic assaults, first, pogroms against them by the Russians, and later by the Holocaust.

    The Russians under Putikov are once more meddling with other countries such as Ukraine. If the people in Ukraine have the power-of-knowledge, what can these little people with brain-power do, if they are out-numbered by Russian boots on the ground and by Russian military hardware? – – – -So sad!

    • Joseph, thank you for the wonderful comment. I didn’t know your mother’s family came from Moldova. That part of the world was once known as the cultural capital of the east. Beautiful countryside, wonderful, hardworking people. University of Iasi — an important cultural center. The most famous Romanian poet, Mihai Eminescu, was from Moldova. I’ve only been there once, though. My family is from Bucharest/Bucuresti. I do know what you mean — sometimes having the power is not everything when the forces pushing back are so much stronger. Thank you so much for sharing this about your family. What a wonderful connection.

  6. Thanks for sharing the news and your thoughts. It must be hard to just watch it from a faraway place. No doubt you have relatives and friends who are in the thick of things. Blessings to them as the country regroups.

  7. Hi Silvia – there’s a lot going on in ‘easern europe’ now .. especially with the immigrants and Hungary’s behaviour … I worry too. Getting rid of your president is a step – it’s getting rid of the corruption etc that’s much needed – democracy, truth and peace go hand in hand … let’s hope – all the best – Hilary

  8. A terrible tragedy Silvia, I remember hearing and seeing it. We had such a fire here on the outskirts of Johannesburg a few months – underage girls were in the club who died. Also no proper fire escapes, crumbling everything, no licence, though liquor was served. Good on the people coming out to protest. SA is I think the protest capital of the world – we’ve had such protests lately, some peaceful, sadly some get pretty violent, ugly, with cars being burned, rocks thrown at police etc . But, people power is growing …

    Ah, the world is a strange and tragic place. We can only pray for peace.
    .

  9. I had forgotten you came from Romania originally, Silvia, it’s always that little bit worse reading about a tragedy in a place you have a connection too. Many people mock health and safety, but this is an example of what happens when it is neglected.

    • I haven’t been keeping up with the sociopolitical life over there, Anabel, but this grabbed me because everything happened so fast, from the fire to the resignation to all sorts of happenings. And you’re right, a safe and healthy society will be a peaceful one. Thank you for coming by.

  10. Sorry to hear about this, Silvia.
    As Susan mentioned above, South Africa is the protest capital of the world. :)
    Yes, people have power. The problem is our high illiteracy levels, so people do not realise the true power of the masses.
    Take care.

    • Thank you, Michelle. Let’s hope one day people will realize their true power. Here in the US, a bunch of students were able to bring down a university professor, who finally resigned under pressure. So happy you stopped by.

  11. Pingback: The Real Power | Silvia Writes | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  12. My heart went out to the victims and their families when I read about this – there was a similar fire in Providence, RI, with many victims some years ago.
    Same reasons. So it’s not only Romania – this was greed on the part of the club owner and a wink from the fire marshalls. I often wonder whether peaceful protests do anything – the march in Paris after the Charlie Hebdo murders, even with all those country leaders, did nothing. And the French were back to bending over backward being politically correct about Muslims within a week.

  13. I saw this on the news and thought of you. Thanks for informing and sharing your thoughts . . .

I welcome your thoughts.

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