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the demonstrators entered piața uniri in cluj napoca, coming from the industrial area of the town. within minutes, two army platoons entered the square, trying to block the entrance, so that no more people would join the demonstrators.

călin nemeș started a dialog with the officers, joined closely by lucian matiș and five or six other men. they stepped closer and in order to demonstrate that they came in peace, they started to undress until some of them were bare-chested in front of the armed forces. “we are unarmed as you can see: our arms are the bear chested, so shoot if you want!” ...and the soldiers did.

in only minutes, the demonstrators scattered all over to pass by tanks, and roadblocks guarded by armed soldiers. i remember the sounds of machine guns and the sight of confused people running for shelter. this memory followed me for years. the next day similar demonstrations started in bucharest, ending in the overthrow of ceausescu, the communist dictator and his regime.

emma teodora mocan
(from 'memories of a three years old girl')

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