January 27, 2012
Ana Maria Anghelescu is an 18 year-old Romanian high school student. Today, she sent a letter to ThinkYoung, hoping to make Europe aware of the protests being carried out in her country. She believes that even if the demonstrations are featured in the news, not enough people pay attention to the underlying motives of the rising up population. And she believes, too, that there is some common link between the protests in her country, and those being carried out in Spain, Hungary or Greece: people crave for change, and young people dare.
“In the streets for what we believe in…
Did it occur to you that while you were going about your routine week, in a little country in the south-east of EU, somebody is not happy with their situation? That somebody is protesting for change? That somebody is trying to make their opinion heard? That somebody is bearing the freezing cold outside just to show their need for something new, something different?
Can anyone blame them for going in the street and screaming out loud what is apparent to the whole country? It seems hard to ignore a protest of this kind and magnitude from Romania, but are you, an outsider, listening to what they say?
Maybe you didn’t hear about Romania, or maybe you did, but you never stopped and thought the protests’ motivations. But, let’s face it! I am quite sure it is not only the Romanian situation that you ignore. What about Greece? Portugal? Poland? No matter how much these countries are in the news, do you take your time to understand them? Those countries that are not as powerful as France or Germany are not able to develop without help, and cannot do anything without asking for advice… But they still exist!
Romania has the potential to be a powerful country, but the problem is that it doesn’t know how to become one. We complain, but most of the time we don’t do anything. We fear the consequences of showing what we think, but we are not afraid of the effects of our indolence. These days, though, this has started to change.
There are people that say this protest brought together more people than the 1989 revolution. There are people that say that most of the protesters are hooligans. There are people that say that some of the protesters don’t even know why they are there. The truth is they are somewhere in the middle, but the fact is that there are protests. And that they have been going on for more than 10 days now.
It all started with the health care reform and with the change of the emergency-response system. With the forced resignation of the founder of Romania’s emergency services, Raed Arafat, things were always going to get worse. Imagine to see all your work, the hours you put in to make the country’s public services a better standard, taken away in an instant. How would you feel? Betrayed? Frustrated? Annoyed? But what about the moment when someone in a little town begins to protest for you? And, what if only one day later, the entire country is fueled by a revolutionary thought to support you?
Our government began to listen to the protesters, they began to fear the movement and the power of the people. Then, guess what? Arafat was called back and the health care reform was called off. Good! But, the fact is that people are still protesting. Their uprising is no longer about specific reforms, they’re there because they want bigger changes. They want to make their voices heard. The euro-crisis, the austerity measures, the Greek protests – all these are examples of issues that affect the way we live. We are sick and tired of bearing everything.
Bearing would not be a problem for the passive part of the population, but it is for the youth. Many teenagers in Romania disagree with the current situation and choose to study and live abroad. They leave everything behind, because they feel the situation back home is hopeless. But now, young voices say that we need to have our country led by competent people, that every party that is represented in the Parliament needs to have its voice heard and understood. Until today, the government has simply ignored the other parties and has promoted the laws ignoring the traditional democratic voting system. Indeed, some of the youngsters realized that they are not represented through these methods. They want a government and a Parliament that works for them and does not fight against each other.
The young Lieutenant, Alexandru Gheorghe came to Bucharest to protest against the injustice, against the fact human rights are not respected, against the indolence of the people. He admits to not represent the whole Romanian Army, just a group that chose him. Some people call him a hero, the next president, I’m not so sure, but I still respect him for being courageous enough to speak out against the problems which could ultimately lead him to lose his job.
Today’s protests are an example of how people should react when their leaders ignore them. They are an example of how young people dare state their opinion, proving that communication can improve it all. Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see in the world”, and that’s what the Romanian youth is doing right now.Author : thinkyoung