Thousands Join Romanian Diaspora Anti-Corruption Protest

Thousands of Romanian expatriates converged on central Bucharest on Friday for one of the largest rallies against the ruling Social Democrat Party since it won elections in December 2016.

Many other anti-government activists from across the country joined groups of expatriates who gathered in front of the government building on Friday morning, despite the demonstration being scheduled for 5pm Bucharest time.

Security forces used tear gas on Friday afternoon to stop the crowd of protesters from breaking down a barrier and entering the government building's yard. At least 36 people, including security forces, were wounded.

Organised on social media, protesters called for the resignation of the Social Democrat, PSD government led by Prime Minister Viorica Dancila.

They are angry at the PSD because of its push to relax the fight against corruption.

Some protesters asked for the resignation of PSD leader Liviu Dragnea, who currently serves as the speaker of parliament's lower chamber and who has been sentenced for corruption in two separate cases and is under investigation in a third. Many protesters also demanded early elections.

"We're protesting against abuse, against corruption, against criminals, corrupt politicians who are still in power. We want a normal country, we want to tell the world that Romanian have had it with incompetents," a protester told BIRN as he arrived in Victoriei Square on Friday afternoon.

Romanians who live in several EU countries, but also some who travelled from the United States and Canada, scheduled their vacations in Romania so that that they could attend the protest, which was announced at the beginning of June.

"We wanted to let people know that this is our country too, that we care and...

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