The Coronation of Freedom

December 22, 1989. Starting early morning, hundreds of thousands of people start to march on the streets of Bucharest – the streets on which the Power has washed away the blood of the Bucharest martyrs all night – towards the centre, and gather in the Palace Plaza – now the Revolution Plaza – in front of the building where the Power is sheltered: the Central Committee of the romanian communist party.

Ceausescu appears in the balcony and tries to speak to the people, promising them he will add few more bucks to their salaries. A huge boo is the answer of the hundreds of thousands of people who do not want his money, but Justice for the crimes he had directly ordered. Justice for the innocent blood spilled in Timisoara, Cluj, Lugoj, Arad, Craiova, Brasov, Bucharest.

The wave of the rebellion grows to an unprecedented measure, and the people in the front lines storm the building: the official building that for all had been the symbol of the oppression and the shelter of the evil. And as they get inside, Ceausescu and his wife barely have the time to climb to the last floor, where they are taken to the helicopter awaiting there. Another huge boo accompanies the rise in the air of the helicopter, as people realize that the dictatorial couple is fleeing. The Plaza, the building and the whole city is now theirs, the people’s. They have come a painful way till they have reached their shore. But now, the precious word Freedom is being chanted in Liberty, in a choir of hundreds of voices, as the people march on the streets of Bucharest, sharing their joy with the others, singing and laughing in the streets, like they had never done before in their lives.

It is the Coronation Day for the Freedom they had learned to fight for, in seven extraordinary days, starting with Timisoara and continuing with the major cities of Romania until the wave of Revolution reached Bucharest. Other days of sorrow will follow, unfortunately – days in which, in the underground, the forces of power have struggled to take command, and in their battle other hundreds of people have lost their lives, and up to this day the guilty have remained unknown. The guilty for the crimes commited until December 22 have been identified, and almost all of them have not paid for what they’ve done. This is the dark side of the Romanian Revolution, the part which has stained the great sacrifice and courage of the Romanians who have fought for freedom. Justice has not been done to the ones who were killed by the repression forces, to the ones who were injured but survived, to the ones who have lost their loved ones. Romania has known seven days of miracle and light – and then, slowly, it has slipped back into a common life, and what is maybe the saddest thing of all, the vast majority of Romanians have forgotten the people to which they owe their freedom, the people who have given their lives so that the lives of all the others could change…