Romanians in the city of Timisoara paid homage last night to the fighters who took to the streets twenty years ago sparking the revolution that swept a dictator from power.
In a re-enactment of those events, locals retraced the steps taken two decades ago when people flocked to the defence of an ethnic Hungarian dissident priest who was being threatened with forced relocation.
Events rapidly escalated into confrontations with the police. Trams which back then had been stopped, were yesterday covered in posters from the revolt.
Romania’s repressive Communist leader Nicolae Ceausescu made a televised address blaming the unrest on hooligans.
The very next day, police, army and secret service units began firing at protesters.
Several days of fighting followed, spreading to the capital Bucharest — the revolution was unstoppable.
Ceausescu and his wife Elena were executed after a summary trial on Christmas day.
More than 1,000 people were killed in the only violent upheaval of the revolutions that swept communists from power across Eastern Europe. Of those, 118 were in the city where it all began — Timisoara.