A couple of thoughts

Years ago, I mentioned five things that I will not write about on my blog, and I don’t intend to change that any time soon.
Today however, I will ever-so-lightly touch on the subject of politics by expressing a few opinions prompted by the protests taking over the main squares of major Romanian cities, which are categorized as the largest demonstrations nationwide since the fall of communism in 1989.

Smartphones light up the night sky. Image copyright

Smartphones light up the night sky.
Image copyright Dan Mihai Balanescu

This is my favorite moment from the protest. In case you don’t read/haven’t seen it when reading world news stories, this is when on Sunday, people used their smartphone torches to illuminate the night sky. So beautiful!
Now on to my opinions.
The protests are legitimate, I believe, but so many of the people out there have not actually read the law in question or know much about why they’re out there protesting.
We live in the Facebook era when anyone can make a public event and invite people, who invite more people, who invite more people. We live in a time in history when it’s trendy to show up, and even trendier to check in at protest locations on one’s social media profiles. I really believe that is one of the main reasons for the amount of protesters.
In a slightly different form, this law was under consideration in 2013/2014. There were very few people out in the streets protesting back then. Where were all these 250000 protesters from Bucharest then? Let alone the half a million from all over the country?
There was someone on TV the other weekend talking about the children’s demonstration. He said, and I agree, that if the parents explained to the kids why they were there, it was a very good, live lesson in civic engagement, about democracy and wanting to make a difference. If said parents were cautious, I believe that it was a good idea.
However, for the past ten days, so many parents went, and took their kids under 15 with them to the evening protests. Sure, it is their personal choice to stay out there with them until midnight, yet I can not see it as being a wise and safe one.
And kinda lastly, I like the fact that the protesters are not causing any incidents and leave the squares clean.
But I have to wonder why is it that our news channels here make such a big deal out of it? What is fundamentally wrong if this is news worthy? How are Romanians overall perceived in the world, if this is portrayed as such a big surprise?
And why are people not behaving the same way when they gather for a concert, for a football game (several games have been played without supporters in the pews as the threat of incidents was too high, or several games have been stopped because supporters were throwing stuff onto the field), or any other public event, or even when simply living and walking the streets?
The clean and incident-free protests, to me, prove that it could be the same way 90% of the time instead of only now during the protests.
PS: this little blog of mine turned 8 yesterday. What better way to celebrate, than do exactly what I set out to when I first started it, and express my opinion? ;)
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2 Comments to “A couple of thoughts”

  1. I understand your questions and would like to provide a book to answer them in the most intelligent manner. The author is Malcolm Gladwell and the book is called “The Tipping Point.” I don’t know if you’ve ever read any of his books but they’re fascinating. I’ve read them all–only the most recent one wasn’t as fun as the others but that’s just my opinion.

    I’d start with The Tipping Point, and if you like his style, read the rest of his books.

    We saw the protest from your part of the world and it gave us hope that we can affect change here in America. I don’t know if you’ve been following our issues with Trump but we’re all starting to feel a bit powerless as our elected officials are not listening to their constituents whether in person, on the telephone, via Twitter, snail mail, Facebook, or any other avenue of communication. And not only are they not listening but they’re saying we’re paid protestors. I, for one, would love to have been paid for my time but I was not nor were anyone else at the protest.

    I am happy that more and more people like me are waking up and taking a stand against the unbelievable corruption and deceit–I don’t know everything there is to know but I’ve come up to speed quickly because I have a keen interest in keeping my children safe. Would I bring them along to a protest? Yes because what’s a better learning experience than being involved in the moment. Kids (and people) learn best through experience and what an experience!

    Some people may have been at your protest because it’s become a thing to do but no matter their reasons, it’s another kind of community, and feeling a part of a community is great for mental health. I do agree with you on the question of why is everything kept so neat and clean at a protest but not at a concert?? I can only suggest that perhaps it’s because the world is watching what we’re doing when we’re protesting and we’ll be judged by our behavior, whereas at a concert, some people feel entitled to make a mess because ‘they’re paying for it.’

    • I am very late to replying, and we’ve discussed it off he blog, so no need to write back here, I just wanted to provide an answer to the comment here as well ;)

      I’ll have to check out the book, I looked at the descriptions and it sounds good.

      Yes, here’s hoping protests will help affect change. I am still worn out by all the protest talk, but feeling better about it now. It’s a different kind of community, and being part of one is great, I agree. But I do believe that it’d be better if that community was well informed, instead of having reasons like “we don’t like X, he and his party should resign”.
      As for the issue of children, like I said in my post as well, really admirable and very good to take kids to the peaceful day protest. However, when one disrupts their daily routine for sixteen days, every evening for a month, in a row in ways like the kids may or may not have time to finish homework before leaving, they’ll get all riled up in an overcrowded and way too loud environment, they get to bed at 1am when they arrive home after the protest, they arrive late to school because they can’t get up at 7am in the morning… and the whole safety issue… they can wander off, get stolen, and I mean, all it takes is one crazy person yelling “fire” for no better reason than being bored, and a child can get trampled down in no time when the 250000 people crowd starts running!
      That’s why I figure small children shouldn’t attend, as teenagers can take care of themselves better, and can take on the responsibility of wanting to be there.

      As to the cleanliness thing at protest vs concert… maybe you’re right. Maybe people do feel more entitled to make a mess and such if they are paying for a ticket. Good point!

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