Romania Is No Eldorado. Protests Manage To Upstage Gold Mine Plans

Rosia Montana Protests

Protesters march during the eighth day of demonstrations in Bucharest against a Canadian gold mine project using cyanide, on September 8, 2013. (AFP)

The first time I heard about Canadian company Gabriel Resources and Rosia Montana was in 2005. I was in Cluj-Napoca at the local theater and about to attend a ceremony related to the local industry major actors. And some awards. Their presentation file was golden, just like their prospects.

The event was completely sponsored by Gabriel Resources, they even made sure that all people attending the event received valuable information about the gold mining at Rosia Montana – which is not at all in Cluj County, but still Gabriel Resources made sure to voice its interests in a high profile event.

Ever since, they managed incredible PR projects to make themselves heard for years and years. Even President Basescu was backing gold mining some years ago. Now, with all the protests, he changed his mind or public speeches. You name it, but it’s not the same thing. Irrespective of the degree of authenticity of these protests, they made themselves heard just as Gabriel Resources made themselves almost heard in years and years of PR efforts.

15,000 Romanians protested heavily yesterday and for over one week against the gold mine exploitation at Rosia Montana. Today, PM Victor Ponta called off Rosia Montana gold mining project and declared that the Parliament will not back it anymore.

Here is what happened yesterday in all major cities in Romania:

Credit: BUCHAREST (AFP) –  More than 15,000 Romanians took to the streets for the eighth straight day Sunday to protest a Canadian company’s plans to open Europe’s largest gold mine in a picturesque Transylvanian village. Canadian firm Gabriel Resources hopes to extract 300 tonnes of gold in Rosia Montana in the Carpathian mountains with mining techniques requiring the use of thousands of tonnes of cyanide.

In Bucharest, around 8,000 people marched or rode their bikes to the government headquarters chanting “United we can save Rosia Montana.”

Many students as well as young couples with babies were among the protesters. Carrying banners reading “I love nature, not cyanide” and “Corruption equals cyanide,” they called for the resignation of Prime Minister Victor Ponta, whose government last month adopted a bill clearing the way for the open-cast mine. The draft law still has to be approved by parliament.

Around 6,000 protesters also rallied in Cluj, the major Transylvanian city, and around 900 in Brasov, police said.

More on this topic here.

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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3 Responses to Romania Is No Eldorado. Protests Manage To Upstage Gold Mine Plans

  1. The people united shall never be defeated.

  2. Pingback: Live in Cluj-Napoca: Rosia Montana Street Protest, 10 Nov 2013 | Communication For Development

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