Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The following news item is from the San Francisco Indymedia site. it seems the Romanian state is overanxious to prevent even the semblance of dissent against their policy of rapprochment with the American Empire. Wouldn't want the Emperor George II to see any unhappy plebian faces after all. By the by, the Contra-Doxa site is once more down this evening, after having recovered function earlier today. Trying to access leads one to a commercial search engine. It may be that the sort of traffic the Romanian comrades are receiving these days overwhelms the site and causes technical problems. Still...I haver had Contra-Doxa on my Links section for many months now, and I find it suspicious that this sort of thing starts happening just as the Romanian government is trying to crack down. As to another matter I mentioned earlier. It's true, the US State Department did drop by here at Molly's Blog as part of a search they were doing on "Contra-Doxa". One wonders if the buggers were inspired by what they saw. Anyways, here's hoping Contra-Doxa is on line again soon.
Breaking News – Mass Arrest of demonstrators in Bucharest Bucharest, Romania, April 2, 2008 (Please see for more background info on the NATO summit in Bucharest, as well as the anti-NATO convergence)
At approximately 12:30pm today, hundreds of police descended on the convergence center of the anti-NATO gathering in Bucharest. At this point, some organizers on the scene estimate that 46 arrests in all have been made. All the arrests were made inside the convergence center. There was no demonstration happening. Many of the police were wearing ski masks, and were very hostile to journalists trying to access the scene.
The convergence center was located near the center of Bucharest, which is hosting a NATO summit that just got underway today. It was located in an industrial space which the anti-NATO demonstrators had legally rented. According to the police, there were accusations that some protesters used aggression against one of the guards near the site.
By 3:15pm, 3 large paddy wagons had already left the site, carrying demonstrators inside. Some other protesters and media were gathered on the other side of the street, chanting to release the demonstrators.
A police spokesperson gave a few statements to the media in Romanian. (I don't speak Romanian, but the following info was loosely translated for me by a Romanian speaker) According to the spokesperson, the police found anti-NATO banners and some paint inside the convergence center. There was nothing illegal. He stated that the protesters were not terrorists, and that they had been taken to the police station to have their identities verified. Among the group of people arrested were local activists as well as foreigners. The spokesperson also stated that this police intervention is not against the national constitution of Romania, and that liberty of expression is guaranteed.
At this point (5:10pm Bucharest time), all the protesters are still being detained. One organizer has stated that a few were badly beaten.
It should be noted that these arrests were made before any organized actions against the NATO summit had taken place, and also in a context where the authorities have stated they would not tolerate any opposition to NATO during the summit. The local corporate media has also been in a frenzy about "dangerous anarchists" who are going to descend on the city and break store windows. One TV news report on Realitatea TV yesterday morning encouraged viewers to throw rocks at any demonstrators that they see on the streets.
Hopefully we can have a more complete report soon. Keep checking or for more info.

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