The Romanian Student Organization at Indiana University is protesting Friday against an invasive mining project that was supported by the Romanian government in 2007.
The Romanian government has signed their approval for the project to commence. The area that has been affected by this project is Rosia Montana, Romania.
Alexandra Cotofana, a first-year graduate student in the Anthropology Department and a citizen of Romania, is one of the leaders of the protest. Cotofana told us some history of the project and how it is creating problems for the people in Rosia Montana.
“It got the attention of the media in 2007 because that’s when the people started to rebel. The government kept putting pressure on people to leave their houses. They tried to pay them, but some people didn’t want to leave,”Cotofana said.
This year the Romanian government passed a law that will allow the company to force people out of their homes and this is one of the main reasons why the Romanian Student Organization is protesting against this project.
“This year, the company has raised the percentage of what they are going to pay the state for the whole project, from 4% to 6%. Now, a law has passed that will allow the company to expel residents. This is the part we are most worried about,” Cotofana said.
The Romanian Student Organization is hoping that this protest will give more attention to this issue and bring in more supporters to keep something like this from happening again.
“The media in the country doesn’t say anything about this. They support the project by keeping quiet, but the rest of the world knows. Romanian citizens care about what happens and we know that the next project when the government allows a private company to expel people might set a precedent for these sort of non-democratic acts. This could happen in my hometown next. We want them to know we are aware and we are fighting it even though we are away from home. Home is still home,” Cotofana said, explaining why this protest matters even though it is far from Romania.
The protest will take place Friday at 6 pm at the Sample Gates.