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Deafening silence: Romanian protesters keep quiet to make their point

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Deafening silence: Romanian protesters keep quiet to make their point
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Credit: Rares Helic
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Demonstrations have been rumbling on in Bucharest and other major Romanian cities for more than a year.

Protesters have been making a noise about proposed law changes they say will hit the country’s fight against corruption.

But after months of shouting slogans with little noticeable change, activists have grown so annoyed they’ve become lost for words, literally.

A group in Sibiu, a city situated around 200 kilometres north-west of Bucharest, have been holding a silent protest every day for three months.

They gather each day outside the offices of the ruling Social Democrat Party (PSD), who have tried to decriminalise some corruption offences.

Organisers say between 80-100 people come every noon and silently stare at PSD’s local headquarters for 15 minutes.

Their best turnout has seen several hundred protesters take part.

“Sometimes if it’s noisy, it can pass people by,” Smaranda Balan, who helped set up the We See You From Sibiu group via Facebook, told Euronews.

“But the silence and the power of our eyes watching them constantly this cannot be passed over so easily.

“Having several hundred people watching, staring at them is very powerful and it’s something you cannot get over.

“When you are screaming and expressing your outrage, somehow things can get out of the frame of decency.”

Balan said the protests have now spread to other Romanian cities and expats have been holding vigils in Birmingham, Brussels and Paris.

Credit: Rares Helic
Credit: Rares Helic
Credit: Rares Helic
Credit: Rares Helic
Credit: Rares Helic