Democracy takes time. For almost three years, the story of Romanian democracy has been one of resistance and the recent] protests made me believe that Romanian society has acquired its dose of resilience. It can self-organize without professional organizers; it can confront firmly, but also with humor, the assaults on democratic values, notes Cătălin Tenită, a 2020 Eisenhower Fellow and co-founder of Geeks for Democracy – an affinity group for people willing to uphold the rule of law, equity, and nonviolent change in Romania using their professional skills. .
Romanians took to the streets to make change at the ballot box, he adds, offering an inside account of how two years of peaceful protest won the day. Now, the movement is about to enter a new narrative of change, he writes for The Wilson Quarterly:
But it also is a story of how Romanians will build efficient mechanisms to curb what they have just voted out: political assaults on fundamental values such as democracy, equality before the law, fairness and the rule of law. ….We did not resort to brutal means to correct a situation we did not like, but stuck to our principles: persistence in nonpartisan nonviolence. We would triumph by having the patience required in trench warfare. Citizens understood that we were running a marathon, not a 100-meter sprint.