April 3rd 2008 Bucharest

- Anti-NATO Inscription On Parliament Wall
- Breaking News: Mass Arrests during NATO summit
- Police Officers Detain Romanian Journalist
- Anti-NATO Militants Lease Space In Bucharest Factory To Protest, Security Intervenes
- German, Romanian, Czech Nationals Among Anti-NATO Protesters Detained In Bucharest

Anti-NATO Inscription On Parliament Wall

A vulgar anti-NATO inscription in Serbian was seen Thursday morning on the outer wall of the Parliament Palace in Bucharest, at the media entrance. The inscription, which read “NATO picke” was noticed by journalists Thursday morning.

As soon as cameramen started filming the inscription, colonel Adrian Nica of the Security and Protection Service, or SPP, stood in front of the respective wall to prevent media from filming or taking photos of it.

Under media pressure, Nica moved and called administrative personnel to cover the inscription. A member of the cleaning staff arrived shortly and washed the inscription off the wall.


Breaking News: Mass Arrests during NATO summit

NOTE: This is not a collective statement, but rather an individual eyewitness report from an indymedia journalist who was involved with the anti-NATO mobilizations in Bucharest

Breaking News – Mass Arrest of demonstrators in Bucharest

Bucharest, Romania, April 2, 2008

(Please see www.contra-doxa.com 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 protestors used aggression against one of the guards near the site.

By 3:15pm, 3 large paddy wagons had already left the site, carring demonstrators inside. Some other protestors 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 losely 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 protestors were not terrorists, and that they had been taken to the police station to have their identities verryfied. 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 consitution of Romania, and that liberty of expression is guaranteed.

At this point (5:10pm Bucharest time), all the protestors 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 www.contra-doxa.com or romania.indymedia.org for more info. I will also try to upload photos and video I took.



Police Officers Detain Romanian Journalist

Razvan Martin, program coordinator within the Press Monitoring Agency was detained on Wednesday by police officers and taken to precinct 10 in capital city Bucharest. “Martin is inside his car and a police officer is driving it. They are being escorted by another car to the tenth precinct. Nobody told him he is officially detained, but he is not free either. A free man would be driving his own car,” Mircea Toma, the Agency’s head, told Mediafax.

He said he will go to the station to see what is going on.

Martin told Mediafax reporters by phone that he was in a car together with five other people and stopped to ask directions on how to get to precinct no. 11. Martin intended to get to the station so that he may help the people that had been taken into custody from the Timpuri Noi Factory. His colleague Liliana Ganea was already there.

“When I stopped and asked the police officers how to reach the station they said they would drive us there, after which they got in the car, one of them behind the wheel, and took off. On the way, they told us we are actually heading towards police station no. 10 and that we cannot stop the car to get down,” Martin said.

The agency is part of the organization Reporters sans frontières (Reporters Without Borders).

However, quaestor Marian Tutilescu, head of the Romanian Police Forces said that Martin was not detained. He said Martin was only escorted to the precinct, as well as all other people in that area, for investigations.

The latest news says Martin was released from custody.


Anti-NATO Militants Lease Space In Bucharest Factory To Protest, Security Intervenes

Romanian security forces intervened on Wednesday at 14:00 local time to evacuate the 50 anti –NATO militants who had leased a space in the Timpuri Noi Factory in capital city Bucharest. The police officers took into custody ten German militants.

The Anti-NATO militants, who have leased the space inside the Timpuri Noi Factory in Bucharest for two weeks, might be evacuated on Wednesday even though their contract is valid until the beginning of next week.

Some 50 protesters, both Romanians and foreigners, say they have a legal lease contract signed with the factory. However, the plant’s management asked that they be evacuated.

The protesters paid an approximately RON2,800 to lease the space until Monday, April 7.

The militants painted banners with peaceful messages such as “Stop the war-Stop NATO.” However, security guards forbade militants to get in or out of the factory and the latter said that if they are not allowed to carry on with their activities, they will go out and protest in the streets.

On Monday, an open letter was made public on an anarchist internet site addressed to “simple Romanians” and forwarded by “Berlin anarchists” in which they ask Romanians to join them in the anti-NATO movement and in which they ensure Romanians of their presence in Bucharest.

The people who wrote the document assumed the statute of “serious opponents of those that aid the NATO wars.”

The NATO summit starts Wednesday in Bucharest with a working dinner of the Alliance heads of state and/or governments at the Romanian Cotroceni presidential palace.

The summit, the largest reunion in the history of the North-Atlantic Alliance, will be attended by 60 heads of state and government.


German, Romanian, Czech Nationals Among Anti-NATO Protesters Detained In Bucharest

The anti-NATO protesters detained for questioning in Bucharest on Wednesday were nationals of Germany, Romania, Moldova, Portugal, Spain and Poland, Bucharest police chief Marian Tutilescu said in a press conference. He said the bulk of the 54 protesters were Romanian and German nationals – 26 and 22 citizens, respectively.

The 17 women in the group were allowed to leave shortly after they were brought in for questioning at a police precinct in Bucharest, Tutilescu mentioned.

Several gendarmerie squads moved in a local plant on Wednesday afternoon and evacuated some 54 anti-NATO protesters who leased a production hall for the NATO summit, after several officers reported an incident between protesters and two officials with the plant.

The protesters were taken to several police precincts for questioning.

Save the assailants of the plant’s general manager and of a security guard, all the protesters will be released once the identification procedure is over, Tutilescu said.

“The other persons will be released immediately, with no other contraventions considered or any of their materials being confiscated, provided they have no nationalist or illegal characteristics,” Tutilescu said.

The chief of police said the intervention at the plant was conducted exclusively by gendarmes and that he cannot give any details about the actual operation.

Asked about one of the women in the group who was taken to a hospital, Tutilescu said the woman has twisted her ankle while getting in a gendarmerie car.