The Twitter Revolution in Moldova
On Sunday, April 5th, the governing Communist party won 50% of the vote in Parliamentary elections. This was decidedly a surprise, as Communists had lost the last round of municipal elections, and as an organized anti-Communist movement had been warning that elections might be rigged.
More than 30,000 young activists took to the streets of Chisinau on Tuesday, occupying Chisinau’s central square, the Piata Marii Adunari Nationale. The protests turned violent in the evening: government buildings burned and dozens of protesters were injured.
The sea of young people reflected the deep generation gap that has developed in Moldova, and the protesters used their generation’s tools, gathering the crowd by enlisting text-messaging, Facebook and Twitter, the social messaging network. The protesters created their own searchable tag on Twitter, rallying Moldovans to join and propelling events in this small former Soviet state onto a Twitter list of newly popular topics, so people around the world could keep track.
The tag #pman (short for Piata Marii Adunari Nationale, the square where protests unfolded) had been one of the most active on Twitter on Tuesday. All the newspapers was talking about Twitter revolution from Chisinau, the story of the protests from the New York Times was titled “Protests in Moldova Explode, With Help of Twitter”. Others titles like “Twitter 1, communism 0” are appearing in English-language newsapers: “A victorious moment. Technology over tyranny. A youth united tapping Twitter in the name of democracy.”
But Mihai Fusu, 48, a theater director who spent much of the day on the edges of the crowd, said he believed that a reservoir of political energy had found its way into public life.“Moldova is like a sealed jar, and youth want more access to Europe,” he said. “Everyone knows that Moldova is the smallest, poorest and the most disgraceful country. And youth are talking about how they want freedom, Europe and a different life.”
Smaller groups of people across Romania, including Bucharest, have shown their support for the anti-communist protests in Basarabia, as the Republic of Moldova is often referred to in Romanian. Recent reports have also indicated that buses carrying supporters from Romania into Moldova, as well as Moldovans attempting to enter the capital, Chișinau, are being turned away. Moldova’s current president, Vladimir Voronin, believes that there was an attempted coup d’état. The EU’s foreign policy chief, Javier Solana, has also weighed in on the events.
Also protests in support of Moldova’s Democracy was registered also abroud, for example Moldovan people protesting in Toronto, in Washington DC, Bruxelles, London.
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