Home / #Solutions / Power of the People: Massive Romania Protests Work! Govt Withdraws Corruption Decree

Power of the People: Massive Romania Protests Work! Govt Withdraws Corruption Decree

For the past week, hundreds of thousands of Romanians have turned out in record numbers to protest recent moves by their government that essentially legalized their own corruption.

The protests, except for a few incidents, remained peaceful, and the sheer number of those who showed up was nothing short of monumental, and — as we have just learnedeffective!

The grassroots protest started with roughly 12,000 Romanian protesters taking to the streets outside the government building in the capital on Tuesday, and climbed daily to well over 250,000 by Friday.

According to the BBC, the Romanian government says it will withdraw a controversial decree that would have decriminalized some corruption offenses.

Prime Minister Sorin Grindeanu just said it would be repealed on Sunday.

“I do not want to divide Romania. It can’t be divided in two,” Mr. Grindeanu said in a televised statement. “We’ll hold an extraordinary meeting on Sunday to repeal the decree, withdraw, cancel it … and find a legal way to make sure it does not take effect.”

As the Free Thought Project reported, the protests began when Romania’s leftist Social Democrat Party (PSD) issued the emergency decree which decriminalized cases of corruption involving less than 45k euros. It essentially legalized the bribing of government officials, as long as it was under 45k euros.

One immediate beneficiary would have been Liviu Dragnea, who leads the ruling PSD party and faces charges of defrauding the state of €24,000. Dragnea was serving a two-year suspended sentence for election fraud, although he denied any wrongdoing. The suspended sentence originally barred Dragnea from ever serving as the prime minister. But with the government’s emergency decree decriminalizing political corruption in cases involving less than 45k euros, it was conceivable Dragnea could’ve been named prime minister.

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The PSD won the election of 2016 and the measure was one of the PSD’s first executive orders put in place since taking over power in November. To put things into perspective, consider this headline from the Economist describing the PSD’s rise to power: “Conviction politics: Romania elects a party led by a vote rigger.” Not only was the party’s leader already a convicted election defrauder, but he now reportedly wants to be the country’s new leader.

Now, thanks to the power of peaceful action, this legalization of corruption will apparently not take place.

“The damage it will do, if it comes into force, can never be repaired,” Laura Kovesi, chief prosecutor of the National Anti-Corruption Directorate had told the BBC.

Because the protests remained peaceful, they kept growing. As the number of peaceful people assembling in front of parliament grew, so did the pressure on the Romanian government. This case illustrates the true power of the people.

We are the many — they are the few.

As the AP reports, one of the demonstrators, Cristian Busuioc, explained why he had come out on the streets with his 11-year-old son.

“I want to explain to him … what democracy means, and the way the ones who govern must create laws for the people and not against them or in their own interest,” he told the Associated Press.

Below is the live feed of the protests. It is nothing short of awe-inspiring. The Romanian people’s effectiveness by remaining peaceful, yet powerful, has shown through and should serve as a lesson to those in America who think that smashing windows will somehow lead to progress.

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Bravo Romania. Bravo.

  • I remember praying with others in White Plains, NY in ’89 when the Romanian people (lead with prayer) protested and the Russian dictatorship collapsed and thousand broke free. Today one of those refugee families is my better friend in Fredericksburg, Va
    I see this It is happening again.
    When people unite in prayer, mighty unexplainable things happen. We are starting to drain the swamp of our one world leaders and shadow government. Keep praying and clean out our legislative bodies of those who sold their souls for power, wealth, fame, luxury living and instant gratification of every lust and desire. Replace them with people who know how to pray.!!!

    • TechGump

      Pray to Allah?

      • The answer to that is simple – pray to whomever or whatever you will. It’s all good. If you like other labels, think self hypnosis, biofeedback, even group actualization.

        • Emmery Neuperger

          I once seen a boxer stand up and make the sign of a cross when the match bell rang. I asked what does that mean? A priest behind me said…”not much…If he doesn’t know how to box”.

        • TechGump

          The purple people eater?

          • Why don’t you go pastafarian and pray to the Great Spaghetti Monster ? With 7+ billion people on the planet coming up with a ‘God’ they cannot sense directly and communicate with except through prayer ( mostly ) if only one gets it right but with no way of telling that, how do you fancy your odds ?

  • IceTrey

    Why did they vote in the PSD in the first place?

    • Rockys_Dad

      Good question.

  • Lucian Florea

    A very good article, but unfortunately things are a bit different…Mr Grindeanu didn’t announce the cancellation of that emergency decree… În fact, his statement was about “maybe”, “perhaps” , will discuss…
    And the most important thing is that he wants to make another one..basically, identical to the current one, with slight changes here and there..
    So, for us, it seems like he didn’t listen. And we are going to keep telling him until the dude with the hamster (as in the brain of all this, his highness Dragnea) realises that the days of the sheep are over.
    Thank you for your support, sorry for my English
    Looking forward to reading your follow ups on our situation

  • alexandra

    Please don’t tell me we as the US are going to interfere in this as well? Not that our intelligence hasn’t already for what purpose this time?

  • junktex

    Citizens United ruling legalized corruption in America