Wednesday, October 7, 2009


It is with real emotion that I write this post.

Moldova's young people were the primary victims of poor, authoritarian Communist government and are the primary victims of the lack of investment caused by Russia's continuing occupation of Transnistria.  It was their education that was being undermined by the spreading culture of corruption and declining standards, and their futures that were being stolen by Voronin's crony capitalism and romanophobia.

Six months ago they decided they had had enough.  The trigger was the blatantly fraudulent April 5th election.  Young people, in part organised through social networking, poured into Chisinau's central square and in great courage demanded an end to to the communist dictatorship that had entrenched itself over the preceding eight years.

The communist authorities, unable to contain the outrage, tried to turn it to their own advantage.  Parliament and the presidency were ransacked and Romanian flags raised in an attempt to make the protests appear to be an attempted coup d'etat.

On the night and days that followed, at least three young protesters lost their lives, victims of police brutality.  Others experienced beatings in the 'corridors of death' while young women were raped in the basements of police stations.

As we now know, the events of 7th April led to an almost incredible chain of events which appear to have decisively changed Moldova's future.  Voronin is gone,  Papuc is gone,  Resetnicov is gone,  Gurbulea is gone and  so is Zina Carabina.  There is a pro-European majority in Parliament.  Ghimpu is president and Filat is PM.  Moldova now has a future as part of a European family of democratic nations.

Moldova owes this change of fortunes to its young people, first and foremost.  If I were the new AIE administration, I would mint a special medal for each of the young people present in the square on the morning of the 7th, with special awards being given to those who endured rape and torture at the hands of the police and an even higher honour being bestowed posthumously on the families of those who gave their lives.

It's the least that can, and should be done.

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