There are some times in the history of a nation when collective consciousness is awakening. The last time in Romania we experienced this phenomena in the time of revolution in 1989 when the communism has fallen. Thousands of people hit the streets and protested against dictatorship, standing up for liberty and some of them gave their life for our liberty.
On 31 January 2017, the prime minister and the cabinet of Romania passed the infamous emergency ordinance no. 13 that would have decriminalised official misconduct and effectively undercut the rule of law in Romania, protecting many politicians from being prosecuted for corruption. This ordinance, introduced by the government that wan the Parliament election in December 2016, could revers the anti-corruption fight in Romania.
As a response to this ordinance, our president Klaus Iohannis wrote in a post on Facebook: “Today is a day of mourning for the rule of law in Romania!” Thousands of people took the streets across the country protesting against legalised injustice in our country, standing up for justice. Over the last days I was part of the biggest protests from Romania since the fall of communism. Collective consciousness has been awakened and people started to fight for justice.
The protests began Tuesday night. At Nine o’clock PM, I received an email on my phone with a breaking news. I turned on the TV and on all news channels was the Justice Minister, in a press conference speaking about emergency ordinance, trying to answer to the reporters’ questions. Each time when he failed to answer a question, he asked the reporters for “another question”. As I sit in my armchair, in front of the TV, I could not believe that such a law could be given in our country after 27 years of democracy and fighting against corruption. My body was overwhelmed and my mind was near to explode.
In a few minutes thousands of people gathered in Bucharest in Victoria Square in front of the Government building protesting against this ordinance, chanting ‘Like thieves in the night!’, referring to the fact that the emergency ordinance was given during the night.
I do not normally protest, but the next day I could not stay home. I participated at the protest with my family and colleagues in Brasov Council Square. Thousands of people gathered to ask the government to resign the emergency ordinance no. 13. People came with flags and signs on which they wrote slogans like “Take off your hands from Justice!”, “Rescind the ordinance no. 13!”, “Shame on you!” . We chanted slogans like: “Shame, shame on you!”, “We do not want to be a nation of thieves!”. The last one was the most preferred of my five year old girl, Anna. She continued her chant the next few days at home, asking me to go back to protest in the square. From hour to hour we stopped from chanting and sung the national anthem. Also we marched on the street chanting ‘If you care, do not stay in home!’ inviting other people to come to protest with us.
One night, after a busy day at the office, I took my son and we went in Bucharest, in Victoria Square, in front of the government building to protest. There was over 150.000 people protesting there, asking the Government to rescind the ordinance no. 13. The crowd was noisy. Near us, some people blew horns. Next to them, others chanted slogans. Behind us some people played the drums. In front of us some people wove the flags. Next to them others held up signs. Suddenly, there was silence. In that time I realised that all people turned their faces toward a big building where someone projected the words: “Please sit down in silence.” Once the words were projected we all sat down in silence looking at the message projected on the building. In that time I could see that on the building there was projected the first verse of our national anthem. Once the national anthem was projected, all people started to sing. The noisy crowd became an enormous choir and I was part of it for the next minutes. After the protest I drove back home. On the road I could discuss with my son about what we have seen, heard and how we felt. Some signs were vulgar, other were expressing hate for people and we did not agree with these, but most of the signs and chantings were expressing the desire for justice.
The government rescinded the emergency ordinance no. 13, on Sunday morning. On Sunday night, the protests continued and the number of protestors was at its climax. There were over 600.000 people protesting all over the country. In Victoria Square, in Bucharest, were over 250.000 people on that night. People lost their trust in the actual government and continued to protest asking the government to resign.
On Sunday night I was protesting in Brasov, in Council Square together with over 10.000 people. There was a special moment when all of us turned on our phone lights and lifted them up. The Council Square was lightened by 10.000 phone lights. Also we started to chant “We see you!”. The message for our government that people look-out over them, was transmitted not only verbally but also visually. The same message visual and verbal was transmitted by protestors for our government in all cities of the country. Next day I could see a video from Bucharest Victoria Square lightened by 250.000 phone lights and all people chanting “We see you!”.
Why could’t I stay home these days?
First, because above the written law there is an unwritten law. It’s called conscience. Suddenly, it was awakened and not just in me but in more than 600,000 Romanians asking for justice. There is a collective consciousness and an individual consciousness. Individual consciousness is the law written in our minds by our Creator! It’s a law above the laws that our government can pass. It’s a law that is not from this world! I trampled it often during my life when I said that everybody steals, lies and cheats. Why not? Collective consciousness is a set of shared values and beliefs which operate as unifying force within society.
Second, I do not go there for me, nor for my family or my business. I go there because I can’t stay home. My consciousness has awakened in me and pushes me to fight for justice. Fight for absolute values, values that do not come from our world, but have been given to us, without which we can’t live. They are called justice, freedom, truth. As a quotation attributed to Thomas Jefferson says, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty!”
But what difference will an awakened collective consciousness make in our lives? The evil is deep in our DNA and our individual consciousness is trampled. Will this collective consciousness awaken our individual consciousness?
Will people who protest on the streets cease to give and receive bribes?
Will people who protest on the streets cease to lie and steal?
Will entrepreneurs who protest on the streets cease to practice tax evasion?
Will pupils and students who protest on the streets cease to cheat on exams?
Will teachers who protest on the streets cease to receive bribes from students?
Will doctors who protest on the streets cease to demand money patients in hospitals?
Will people who protest on the streets cease to deceive their husband or wife?
Will people who protest on the streets cease to exploit girls in prostitution?
The list goes on … I do not think that they will cease to do evil. Maybe they will cease for a few days. Until Ordinance 13 and the government will fall. After that people will trample their individual consciousness again. And if they will have power, they will act in the same way.
To make a change an awakened consciousness is not enough. The conscience awakens guilt. Guilt hurts. That’s why we trample our conscience. In order to relieve our pain. But we can be saved by guilt only through repentance. That’s why Jesus said: ‘Repent and believe the good news!’. But we forgot his words. We set them aside. We want to make our own life, our own future, our own country. We just want to borrow some values from him, however, he was a good teacher, but otherwise to leave us alone!