While there was certainly a smaller presence at last night’s anti-government protest in Bucharest compared with the previous Sunday (70,000 as opposed to 250,000), the freezing weather (it was -7°C) was in large part responsible. Besides, 70,000 would until a couple of weeks ago been an unthinkable high turnout for any kind of protest or demonstration in Romania. That such numbers are now considered banal and ordinary is evidence how much things have changed.
In the days leading up to the protest there had been much consternation amongst certain groups of protesters regarding a plan to create a huge Romanian tricolor. ‘It’s all a bit nationalist, all a bit communist’ argued some, thinking back to the carefully coordinated mass parades of the Nicolae Ceausescu era.
At 21:00 precisely, most fears were laid to rest. Although we only saw it later (red, if you want to know) what actually happened was something quite superb.