In the last few weeks, a huge wave of protests has hit all parts of Romania (and beyond) since September as people fight against a catastrophic gold mining project in Rosia Montana, close to Cluj. This project has been initiated by the Canadian-owned Rosia Montana Gold Corporation and would be the largest gold mine in Europe. The project would use cyanide-mining techniques requiring thousands of tonnes of the dangerous chemical, which would have massive impacts on the environment of the whole region. Or better to say, on that part of the region that would still be left; the project would in fact involve the destruction of four mountains in the area, the resettlement and relocation of about 2000 people and the demolishing of houses, churches and cemeteries.
Tens of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Romania and other countries to protest against this “predictable catastrophe”. We were happy to join the protests in Timisoara (above) on the 15th September as part of the regular Sunday protests in the whole of Romania, and more recently across the globe. Act local, think global!
In Timisoara we stayed at the Protest Camp Occupation in the Unirii Square, who have recently been granted permission to stay there until the end of the year. There we met with local activists and witnessed great local support, despite the few drunken locals who shouted, ‘You don’t even know where Rosia Montana is!’… well I hope at least the scout team do!
Before leaving we also visited Atelier D.I.Y, an autonomous project space for music, workshops, activism, and met some people from the anarcha-feminist collective Love Kills.