A letter to all the people of Romania – at home and abroad. To journalists, lawyers, judges, police officers, students, artists, civil society, civil servants, unions, workers, grandparents, children, teachers. To all Romanians who dream of a better future and those who are getting involved to build it. To those who’ve given up hope and those who are discovering it. To anyone who’s ever wanted, ever dreamed, of something better for yourself, for your family, for your country. To every Romanian, every human being, who wants dignity, life, joy, creativity, opportunity…and a better tomorrow.
21 Things you can do for Romania and Rosia Montana
Saturday September 1st saw one of the most dynamic, creative and encouraging celebrations of Romania and Romanian citizens’ engagement for our country. In cities, towns and villages across Romania people came out to stand up for ourselves and the country – to say no to RMGC and Gabriel Resources pillaging of Romania and hold the government to account. Above all, we demanded to be treated with dignity and affirmed that the people of Romania are taking control back into our own hands (control of our lives, control of the country, control of our future).
Next week, on Sunday September 8, the demonstrations and events and activities across the country will be even larger. Many tens of thousands, across Romania and internationally, will take part in one of the most extraordinary acts of celebration, hope and solidarity Romania has seen for years – possibly in our life times. Whatever you’re background, whatever has made you care and feel you should get involved, here are…. ideas which might help you see what you can do – and how you can be part of making a better future for Romania.
1. Inform yourself about what’s really going on
You deserve to know the truth and be able to form your own opinion. It can be difficult sometimes to get accurate, good quality information on what’s happening in Rosia Montana, especially since too much of Romania’s own media is not covering it and doing their job to ensure Romanians are well informed. Fortunately there are a lot of great posts on FB and great sites, and several international media writing more on what’s happening. Check out these sources. Beware though that some international sources are citing incorrect information, like CNN and Reuter’s saying that Romania will get 75% of the profit. It won’t. Instead Romania will get a tiny portion of the profit which won’t come close to countering the environmental destruction and waste the project will create, or the corruption and bad governance the project has fuelled the past 10 years and more.
2. Share what you’re learning and what you think with others
Just as important as informing yourself is helping to share that information and inform others. Most people in Romania don’t feel entirely comfortable with what’s happening in Rosia Montana. Because of the company’s falsification and misrepresentation over the last many years, many Romanian’s have received a lot of incorrect information. Take the time to discuss with others and share your thoughts and opinions together. One of the most important things we need to build a better future for Romania is to take the time to listen and discuss with each other, to get involved, and inform each other about what’s really happening – and what we really want. It’s not only about complaining about ‘how bad’ things are. It’s about really talking things through, and focusing on what we can do and getting involved. Don’t be afraid to state your opinion and to engage your friends, family, neighbours, colleagues and any one else you talk to. We need everybody to get involved, and you have the power to help convince and inspire people to.
3. Know what you feel comfortable with
There are many different ways of getting involved to make a change – and make your voice count. The list below contains many of them. You might come up with your own ideas as well. The most important thing: find what feels right for you, but get involved. Whether it’s writing a song, sharing information on Facebook, writing to your Member of Parliament, donating to support the campaign, painting signs, organising a discussion with others in your community – whatever works for you, but find someway of ‘standing up’ and taking part, and, if you can – come join the demonstration / celebration of dignity and for a better Romania on September 8th all over the country.
4. Take part in the Demonstration and Celebration of Dignity on September 8th
September 1st demonstrations and celebrations all across Romania and internationally inspired many. Grandparents, students, business people, artists, lawyers, journalists, activists, and many, many more came out to take part. You could see people walking their dogs, entire families out together, pregnant woman with signs over their wombs that their babies want a better future to be born into (and not one where cyanide is used for mining!). The demonstrations / celebrations on September 8th though will be much, much larger…and even more fun! And these really are celebrations. They’re about us – all of us – making a choice for something better, and coming together to make it happen. On the 1st people spoke about the fantastic energy, the courage, and the inspiration they felt. People taking part knew why they were there. They’d made the choice that they wouldn’t sit back. On September 8th there will be many thousands more joining in even larger events and activities. If you’re in a town or city where these are being organised – come take part! If there isn’t something organised yet in your town, city or village, talk with your friends and others and help organise an event there.
There are many more ideas. Here are 10 more quickly:
5. write to your Member of Parliament and Member of the European Parliament (MEP). They are elected by us and they’re there to serve us. Let them know how you feel and call for them to oppose the project and evict RMGC and Gabriel Resources from Romania.
6. Put up a ‘Salvati Rosia Montana’ (Save Rosia Montana) sign on the window of your house or apartment, on your car, wherever you can. Make it visible. Soon you’ll see tens of thousands of apartments, houses, cars across the country with the same sign.
7. Use art – painting, drawing, design: create pictures, posters, messages for Sunday September 8th. Be colourful and creative. Help inspire people with your messages and get more and more people out.
8. If you know journalists…talk to them, write to them, have them invite you on their shows or interview you. Get them to cover what’s happening and practice professional and responsible journalism by informing people correctly.
9. If you are a journalist…use your skill and profession to ensure people in Romania are well informed and have the facts and information they need to make their own decisions. Don’t censor yourself or misrepresent the story. Do your job well so that you and all you know can be proud of you. You have an important responsibility, and you know you can do it.
10. Organise ‘discussion cafes’ and events to share information. If you work with an NGO, if you’re a student, or whatever background you might have, arrange events in cafes, at the university, in your organisation or local town or city hall. Use whatever spaces are available to you. Organise discussions to inform people and help get them involved. The decision about what happens in Rosia Montana isn’t up to the ‘government’. The government is there to serve us. It’s up to you, to all of us. Let’s get together and take that decision to stop the destruction of Rosia Montana, and demand dignity and good governance for Romania.
11. Write articles and posts about what’s happening: Send your opinion in to your local newspapers and media. Call in to radio programmes. Write posts on Facebook or opinion pieces for newspapers and publications.
12. Make a beautiful sign for ‘Salvati Rosia Montana’ and stand outside in a public place, announcing the demonstration / celebration for dignity on Sunday, September 8
13. Write a song, sing it, record yourself, put it on Facebook, and use your music to get people to believe in themselves and come out and take part
14. Write a song, sing it at a local café, park, pub, public space, and inspire even more people to get involved
15. Talk to your parents, your boyfriend, girlfriend, children, grandparents, friends, neighbours and get them to take part
16. Make a t-shirt in support of the September 8th demonstration and wear it through the coming week
17. If you’re part of an organisation, try to get them to publicly support the Save Rosia Montana campaign and Romanian’s call for dignity and good governance
18. If you’re an artist or celebrity in Romania, raise your voice – use your ability to inspire and encourage people to get involved
19. For local authorities and city halls across the country: pass resolutions in support of the Save Rosia Montana campaign
20. For student organisations: inform your members, arrange workshops and discussions, and encourage people to come out and join the demonstration/celebrations
21. Believe…in yourself, in each other, in the fact that you – we – can make a better future for Romania, and we’re getting involved to do that.
These are just a few ideas. There are many more. Be creative. Think of what you can do. Reach out to and involve friends, family, neighbours. Take part – and years from now you’ll know you did what you could and you got involved, and were part of the change creating a better future for your family, your friends, your children and loved ones. For Romania.
Dignity begins in Rosia Montana.
Dignity begins in your choice to get involved.