The Largest of All Illegailites

by Raluca Dan

The original article may be found here.

That is how I could name the most recent action of the Romanian Government regarding Rosia Montana case.  Since Tuesday, August, 27th, people tremble with worry and fury, but in the same time with confusion, because of the numerous political decisions of the last year on Rosia Montana and the mining project proposed there.

The worry is consisted by the question “With what could the new undemocratic and illegal action mean more than the dozens, hundreds of undemocratic and illegal actions carried on by the Government so far? What does the new Rosia Montana law mean comparing with the other laws so far?”

During the 10-year history of the local community and civil society’s struggle against the gold mining project proposed at Rosia Montana, the public servants, starting from the local mayor and the local counselors from Rosia Montana to the ministers of Environment and Culture, the prime-minister and the president of Romania, they all supported either through declarations or through their actions an industrial project without benefit.

More than that, people’s “chosen” push for more than 10 years an industrial project that has never received the acceptance from a considerable part of the citizens.

For 10 years, to this part of the civil society that considers the mining project proposed at Rosia Montana highly destructive is being continually refused its democratic right to participate in deciding upon the present and the future of the environment they live in. More than that, this part of civil society is under the necessity to reclaim its rights until the extreme, civil rights convened with their chosen.

For 10 years, these public servants helped the mining company Rosia Montana Gold Corporation to pass through a simplified evaluation process, to receive as soon as possible and hidden from people’s eyes the administrative papers for exploitation:

-          The mayor of Rosia Montana together with the members of the local council of Rosia Montana voted in 2002 an urbanism plan that declared the area as mono industrial, a mining one, not allowing people to develop new economical activities.. The act is still valid.

-          Senators and deputies, along the years, proposed several laws that would facilitate the start of the exploitation (e.g. expropriation Law) and blocked the one that would ban the use of cyanide in mining;

-          The ministers of Environment and Culture signed for taking out of protection and demolishing the historical monuments of Rosia Montana and they gave their approval for cyaniding the land;

-          The prime-ministers and presidents of Romania contributed to the rise of the Gabriel Resources’ shares at stock market through their public declaration in support of the mining project and pressured the other public servants involved in the evaluation of the project.

-          The political parties, when in opposition, they pleaded for saving Rosia Montana, using it as a stake in their electoral campaigns. When in power, they continued the mining project support of the previous governments.

All of them, through newspapers and television gave deceitful declarations meant to confuse people regarding the correctness of the project’s evaluation and the legitimacy of their intervention in this evaluation process; declarations meant either to provoke acceptance for a so called necessary project for Romania or to provoke hate against those who wouldn’t let Rosia Montana to be overridden.

All these public servants politicized the institutions they lead and made them the appendage of Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, cracking the constitutional state to what is going to be its collapse.

The Romanian state is weak and coward. Weak because it fails in maintaining even an ace of the constitutional law, being accomplice to the most evident and severe breakings of its citizens’ rights. Coward because in the twelve hour, it chooses the biggest move to put to an end the company’s despair.

This new law, the law regarding the gold mining exploitation in Rosia Montana perimeter had been voted in the Government’s meeting from August, 28th and then sent to the Parliament. The law:

  1. Declares the mining project as being of public utility and highly national interest.
  2. Permits the modification of acts regarding expropriation and authorizations.
  3. Seeks the facilitation by the state institutions of measures regarding the exploitation

The politicians took dirty money from the company and now the time to prove the value of the money taken has come. But politicians have fear. They fear the citizens and illegally push the entrance in legality of the mining project through the most incredible action so far: erasing all the democratic steps to evaluate the mining project and directly declaring it as being of public utility and highly national interest.

The Government is probably thinking that replacing dozens, hundreds of illegalities with the biggest illegality from all, that the society will remain mute astonishment.

But no, the people in Rosia Montana and the whole country will not just watch how their land, their rights, their future are trampled underfoot!

People will join in solidarity in the street and claim back what is their own.

In the street, because as Eugen David, the president of the community-NGO Alburnus Maior, said: “The street is the only thing left to us. All the other have been taken. The streets are the last bastion and we, the people, will win there.

See you, us together in the street for Rosia Montana. For the future of a local community, for the future of us, the community of the world! The revolution starts from Rosia Montana!

Several protests in Romania or around the world will be taking place in the next days: http://www.rosiamontana.org/stiri/lista-oraselor-care-pe-1-septembrie-se-alatura-protestului-impotriva-distrugerii-rosiei