The protests were sparked by the Colectiv nightclub fire, and were dubbed in the Romanian press as the #Colectiv Revolution. The protesters demanded the resignations of Prime Minister Victor Ponta and Minister Gabriel Oprea, who they claimed fostered corruption which led to the disaster. They also called for the resignation of Cristian Popescu Piedone, the Mayor of Sector 4, who was criticized for giving an operating license to the club without a permit from the fire department.
|2015 Romanian protests|
Demonstrations at University Square, Bucharest
|Date||3 – 9 November 2015|
On 3 November 2015, large cordons of gendarmes prevented demonstrators from advancing toward the governmental building. From Victory Square, protesters marched to the Interior Ministry, where they knelt and held a moment of silence. The protesters chanted "shame on you" and "assassins", and carried banners reading "corruption kills". By 10 p.m. local time, between 28,000 and 30,000 people (some estimates had more than 35,000) reached Constitution Square, with some protesters scaling the fences surrounding the Palace of the Parliament. Protests were also held in Brașov, Ploiești, and Iași. President Klaus Iohannis welcomed the street demonstrations, and cautioned that such events cannot be ignored by the political class.
Protesters also criticized the Romanian Orthodox Church and its leader, Patriarch Daniel, for their apparent lack of reaction in the aftermath of the club fire. Thousands of demonstrators marched on Dealul Mitropoliei in central Bucharest, where the seat of the Church is located.
On the morning of 4 November, the Ponta government resigned, but with Ponta himself remaining as acting prime minister until the formation of a new government. "I hope the government's resignation will satisfy the people who came out in the streets", Ponta said in a statement. Pressure had been mounting on Ponta for the previous month. In October 2015, he lost the Social Democratic Party leadership to Liviu Dragnea amid a tax fraud scandal, and became the country's first sitting premier to stand trial for corruption. One hour after the announcement of the government's resignation, Piedone also announced his resignation. He accepted his role in the tragedy, and expressed regret for his actions and inaction, stating: "It is a mistake and I undertake that I did not proceed to the resignation from the first day or second day after the accident".
On 4 November, protests continued for a second consecutive night despite Ponta's resignation, with about 35,000 people in Bucharest, 10,000 in Timișoara, 5,000 in Craiova and Iași, 4,500 in Cluj-Napoca, 4,000 in Sibiu, 3,000 in Bacău, Constanța, Galați and Suceava, 1,000 in Oradea and Focșani. Demonstrators demanded early elections and a total change of the political class. Protests in solidarity with those in Romania took place in London and Paris.
On 5 November, around 12,000 people protested in Bucharest and 10,000 in other big cities. For the first time the president invited representatives from street people to a round of consultations to hear their demands. After the Presidential Administration centralized 5,520 proposals, 20 people, mostly members of NGOs, were chosen to take part in consultations with Klaus Iohannis.
The next day, on 6 November, people kept protesting, although in fewer numbers (6,000 in Bucharest and several thousands in other cities). The president told the civil representatives that he will come incognito to talk to people in the streets, indirectly hinting that if they want true change they need to keep asking for it so the politicians can't pretend they don't understand what is asked of them.
On 8 November, in the seventh day of protests, Klaus Iohannis went to University Square, where he talked with some protesters and listened to their demands. While many expressed gladness at president's presence in the square, others booed, whistled and chanted "Shame on you", "Resignation", "Thieves" and "We don't want you".
The Colectiv nightclub fire was a deadly fire in Bucharest, Romania, on 30 October 2015, which killed 64 people (26 on site, 38 in hospitals) and injured 146. The fire, the worst incident in Romania since the Balotești plane crash, occurred during a free concert performed by the metalcore band Goodbye to Gravity to celebrate the release of their new album, Mantras of War. The band's pyrotechnics, consisting of sparkler firework candles, ignited the club's flammable polyurethane acoustic foam, and the fire spread rapidly. Most of the victims were poisoned by toxins released from the burning foam. Overwhelmed by the high number of victims, Romanian authorities transferred some of the seriously injured to hospitals in Israel, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, the United Kingdom, Norway, Germany and France. Mass protests over the corruption linked to the fire led to the resignation of the Prime Minister of Romania, Victor Ponta.In advance of the concert, the band announced that they would be including customised lighting, "pyrotechnic effects", and scenic elements brought in to "give life to the science fiction artwork" of the new album. The band's guitarists Vlad Țelea and Mihai Alexandru, as well as drummer Bogdan Lavinius and bassist Alex Pascu died. Vocalist Andrei Găluț was hospitalised with injuries.The club's main shareholder and co-founder, Alin George Anastasescu, together with two other associates, Costin Mincu and Paul Cătălin Gancea, were arrested on 2 November for negligent homicide, negligent bodily harm, and negligent destruction. The club had opened in May 2013 on the location of the previous Pionierul factory, at Tăbăcarilor Street 7 in Sector 4 of Bucharest, within 3 km (2 mi) of the Palace of the Parliament.
Because it was a high-casualty fire caused by illegal indoor usage of outdoor pyrotechnics, the 2015 disaster is similar to the 2001 Canecão Mineiro nightclub fire in Belo Horizonte, Brazil; the 2003 Station nightclub fire in West Warwick, Rhode Island, in the United States; the 2004 República Cromañón nightclub fire in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the 2008 Wuwang Club fire in Shenzhen, China; the 2009 Santika Club fire in Watthana, Bangkok, Thailand (cause is disputed); the 2009 Lame Horse fire in Perm, Russia, and the 2013 Kiss nightclub fire in Santa Maria, Brazil.Cristian Popescu Piedone
Cristian Popescu Piedone (born February 15, 1963) is a Romanian politician who has served as mayor of Bucharest's Sector 4 from 2008 until the November 4, 2015, when he resigned following the Colectiv nightclub fire and the subsequent 2015 Romanian protests.Romanian Revolution (disambiguation)
The 1989 Romanian Revolution was a revolution in Romania that resulted in the overthrow of the regime of Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu.
Romanian Revolution may also refer to:
Wallachian uprising (1821)
Wallachian Revolution of 1848
Moldavian Revolution of 1848
Romanian War of Independence
2015 Romanian protests, dubbed #Colectiv Revolution
King Michael's Coup