April 3: The leader of the party Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc), Grigory Petrenko, whom the authorities continue to hold under house arrest after six months in prison, has published on Facebook his call to join national protests on April 24.
His call to participate in the April 24 protests against the oligarchs was issued through his lawyer Ana Ursachi, as he and his comrades are prohibited from using social media.
We publish Petrenko’s statement unabridged:
The regime continues to try to divert public attention from the main issues: from social catastrophe, economic degradation, corruption, the theft of a billion and impunity of its accomplices, from the subordination of the interests of all state institutions to the PDM mafia [Democratic Party of Moldova, controlled by oligarch Vlad Plahotniuc], in sum, from the establishment of a very real dictatorship in our country.
Everywhere you look, there are smokescreens and cheap PR stunts.
Those who are at the top of the power pyramid, who continue to receive dividends and continue to loot the country, are once again playing people against each other, capitalizing on historical, language and ethnic differences, statehood and unionism. Diverting the opposition camp by fueling hatred, shifting attention to artificial problems, pumping up hysteria over Romanian interventionists and Russian tanks — in a word, with divide and conquer tactics — the regime protects itself from resistance by organized political forces.
With the naked eye we watch as Plahotniuc daily, systematically, turns Igor Dodon [leader of the Party of Socialists] and Renato Usatti [head of the Our Party] into a loyal opposition, with all the attendant consequences for them. Today’s participation of the Democratic Party mafia in the march in Comrat, striding confidently next to the Socialists and followers of Renato Usatti, despite their promise to denounce and drive them out, is nothing but an attempt to blatantly and flagrantly hug the girl. And the girl, it turns out, does not even resist.
How can the whole country be reflected when Plahotniuc’s PDM dogs are in the front row of the defenders of Moldovan statehood?
What kind of civil society can we speak of, when one part of society calls for the ban of another? I am not a unionist and it’s difficult for me to say it, but why ban them? Who benefits? Did those who speculate on this not understand that the more you suppress this or that movement, the more attractive it becomes?! Don’t they realize that they are glamorizing them? Isn’t it obvious that the beneficiaries of the division of society into “us and them” are still rubbing their hands and filling their pockets?
I am certain that today the opposition should have another agenda: freeing the country from dictatorship, restoration of democratic institutions, uncompromising fight against corruption and dealers in power, protection of social gains and defense of the rights of citizens. Everything else is tinsel.
Demands for early parliamentary elections, de-politicization of the security forces and courts, the arrest of Plahotniuc and all his rag-tag band, bringing to justice all the accomplices in the theft of a billion – these are the main slogans around which the real opposition must unite!
I believe that the April 24 protests should be nationwide, regardless of who we are, what language we speak and what political views we share! We have a common problem in our country, called the “criminal Plahotniuc regime”! And how fast we overcome it depends entirely on us.
Translated by Greg Butterfield