The End of Servitude

December 19, 1989, Timisoara. As they get to their workplaces, the people of Timisoara hear each other’s stories. One’s parent had not returned home since December 17. Another one’s spouse had not returned since December 18. For two days, the people of Timisoara had been counting their missing ones. Their stories spread all over the city like flashes of light. In this day they are not talking about anything else but their missing ones. They know that their loved one had been spotted last in the battle of Calea Girocului, or the one on Decebal bridge. They hear that someone who looked like their loved one was arrested – or worse, that someone was killed near the Cathedral by shots fired from the repression forces’ guns. They hear all this, they speak their stories and their fears and, most of all, their fury, which keeps growing in the day.

It is the day in which the famous Army General Gusa, arriving in Elba Factory to tell the workers that the party is defending the socialism in front of the hooligans, is booed by the workers, in an unprecedented gesture!  The workers of Elba ask General Gusa, a representative of the dictatorship’s power in that moment, to give them back their arrested and their dead. They have stopped working since morning, and they tell the general that they are going into strike, until their demands are met.

December 19, 1989 is the day in which General Gusa, one of the responsibles for the massacres of Timisoara in the days of December 17 and 18, is opposed by the workers of Elba, and asked to leave. He leaves, and calls Ceausescu, telling him: “The situation is this: there are no hooligans in Timisoara, there are the Workers!” Unfortunately, not even in this moment does the dictator admit that it is the end for his reign of terror. He will go on with his paranoia of defending the socialism by firing into his own people, for three more days…