[artinfo] you better watch out

Szabo Peter peterov at freemail.hu
Mon Apr 7 20:32:14 CEST 2008

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: h. arta <harta.harta at gmail.com>
Date: 7 Apr 2008 11:56
Subject: the "new" Romania

Dear friends!

We have just returned from Bucharest, where between 2-4 of
april took place the biggest NATO summit in history. Some
people, (between 50 and 100) wanted to express their
opinions about this summit, about war and militarization and
a space was rented in Bucharest as a place for discussion,
workshops, projections (and, in the "worst"case and only in
the opinion of some of the participants, as a starting point
for peaceful, quiet march in the city,in the conditions in
which any public manifestation, no matter as peacefull, was
oficially forbidden during the summit ). On the 2nd of
april, the first day of summit, the riot police entered this
space, beaten up people and arrested everybody inside
without any legal basis, just on the presumption that
"something might happen". Later on that day they had to
release everybody, as a consequence of the interventions of
human rights groups and of people piqueting the police
stations. But even if the detained people were released, the
surveillance and the threats from the part of police continued. 

It would be quit a lot to say about what happened there,
about the atmosphere of terror, about the mass-media
campaign that started weeks before the summit to construct
an image of the "dangerous anarchists" that will destroy the
city and our image of nice, obeying country, about people
denied entry at the border on the reason that they had on
them flyers against NATO and against violence, about the
harassment of the people involved and also of their families
and friends, about the surveillance of phones and internet
activity made official and legal, etc. If you are interested
you can read about these on indymedia romania site
(http://romania.indymedia.org/) and also in other
independent media.

We wanted to tell you also about what is happening to us. In
September 2007, we were part of a project called Spatiul
Public Bucuresti | Public Art Bucharest 2007
www.spatiul-public.ro), project in the frame of which we
conceived and organized the events of a Project Space. Some
of the people with whom we worked at Project Space were also
involved in organizing a program of cultural events in
reaction to the NATO summit in Bucharest. During the anti
NATO protests in Bucharest and now, after we have return to
Timisoara we realized that we were under the observation of
the secret police even since September when we were working
at the Project Space. Our phones are listened to, we are
followed on the street (and our followers don't even hide)
and we have just discovered some strange connections in our
laptops which allow remote access to all the data inside to
some persons that we don't know (we used our laptops during
Project Space events and many people had access to them). 

Although it is definitely distressful to know that you are
constantly watched, it is not the case that they could find
the evidence of any illegal activity whatsoever from our
part. The only thing that we did, and that we will continue
doing, is to express our citizen right to the freedom of
speech. And only because of this, our private lives are wide
opened to the eyes of some people payed from our tax money
to harass us. The only reaction we can think off is to make
this harassment as visible as possible, to tell everyone
about it. This is the reason of this email.

One of the main critiques of Romanian communism is in
relation to the constant surveillance, to the fact that you
could not trust anybody and that all your moves and all your
words were constantly observed. Now, when in our country any
idea of the Left is so righteously condemned as
"totalitarian" and "communist" with the purpose to reinforce
even more capitalism as the only possible alternative, the
constant surveillance is still part of the everyday life. It
is enough to state publicly your opinions and you will be
subjected to the same sort of surveillance as before 1989,
even if now we are living the "freedom" times of capitalism.

Best wishes from us!
Maria, Rodica, Anca

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