Moldova: New anti-oligarchy protest breaks out in capital

Call to Chisinau residents for solidarity march against corruption and dictatorship

On social media, calls spread to come out on the evening of February 3 to the monument of Stefan cel Mare [Stefan the Great, a national symbol of Moldova] on a “March of Solidarity against Corruption and Dictatorship.” Among those supporting the call for the protest are leaders and supporters of Our Party, Dignity and Truth Platform and Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc). The leaders of these parties claim to have nothing to do with the organization of the protest and called it a civil event.

“I will support any initiative by civil society. I support it! Maximum repost!,” wrote the leader of Our Party, Renato Ustaasi, on his Facebook page.

“I support the civil society initiative. If you have time to come from the North, be sure to join it. Down with the dictatorship and corruption!” wrote vice-chair of the Dignity and Truth Platform Alexander Slusar.

The protest was supported by the leader of Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc) Grigory Petrenko. “I support any civil protest against the regime of [Democratic Party leader Vladimir] Plahotniuc. I personally won’t be able to attend due to the court’s decision, but I know that our activists will be at the protest,” said former parliamentary deputy Petrenko. (Earlier the court banned Grigory Petrenko and his comrades involved in the case of the “Petrenko Group,” about the 2015 protests at the Prosecutor General’s Office, from participating in mass actions).

It is noteworthy that all the opposition parties, while supporting the protest, say that they have nothing to do with its organization and call it a civil event. Slusar in conversation with NM said he did not even know who organizes it. “I understand that this is a civil initiative. This is good if civil society is following the example of Romania to take to the streets and protest. I do not think that our situation is better: it is enough to recall the appointment of the Prosecutor General, the law on the transfer of debt for the stolen billion, and that the prosecution of Plahotniuc has not yet started,” said Slusar.

Grigory Petrenko also said that it was a civil protest, and representatives of the opposition will come to it without party flags and symbols.

A similar civil protest was organized in Chisinau on August 27, 2016, the Independence Day of Moldova. Then, too, calls to join the anti-government rally were spread through social media. Posts on this topic included the hashtag #NuMăTem (I’m not afraid) and #27August2016. They were widely disseminated, including by members and supporters of the Dignity and Truth Platform and Our Home is Moldova. Their leaders then also denied any involvement in the organization of the action and called it civil.


Protest against corruption and dictatorship held in central Chisinau

February 3: Tonight Chisinau hosted a “March of Solidarity Against Corruption and Dictatorship.” The event started at 18:00, beginning at the monument of Stefan cel Mare.

The action is a civil society protest against the ruling regime in the Republic of Moldova.

Photo: Katya Volkova
Protesters chanted: “Down with Plahotniuc,” “Thieves,” “Down with the government mafia,” “Thieves are sitting in parliament,” “Corruption kills,” “Down with the government of the night!” and more.

People also demanded: “Return the stolen billion,” “We demand early elections,” “Down with the criminal regime,” and “Regime to the dustbin!”

The protesters, who gathered in the center of Chisinau, are now chanting: “Bravo, Romania,” “Moldova,” “Moldova, wake up,” “Down with the mafia government,” “Forward, Moldova,” “Moldova, take to the streets,” and “We will not give up!”

Protesters jeered the parties that control the regimes in Romania (in solidarity with current protests against the actions of the Bucharest government) and the Republic of Moldova: “Social Democratic Party of Romania (PSD) is a plague,” “Democratic Party of Moldova (PDM) to the dustbin,” “We demand justice, not corruption,” “Bandits out of the country,” and “PDM equals PSD!”

Among the protesters were members of several opposition groups: Our Party, Dignity and Truth Platform, Our Home is Moldova (Red Bloc), opinion leaders, journalists, writers, artists and others.


Translated by Greg Butterfield

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