Smacked by the miners

Mihai Ionescu, scenographer, 62 years old Interview done by Vlad ManoliuĀ 

On 14th June in the morning, around 11.30, when the miners? cohorts, waving their bats, invaded Bucharest, I was walking down Maghereu Boulevard, heading to the Union.1 I met two colleagues, a property man, Bordeianu and Vasile Neagoe (a coward for a fact) a production manager. They were also heading to the Union. When we reached the traffic light in front of Nottara Theatre, we wanted to cross the boulevard towards Eva shop. The miners were zealously marching on the middle of the boulevard, entirely blocking it.

Since the light was green, we walked through them. The two I was walking with stayed on the sidewalk because in the meantime they got red light. I passed those guys by and I stopped in front of Eva shop waiting for them. All of a sudden, I started hearing all sorts of opinions among those stopped to watch the miners passing by. And I heard a voice: ?We shall teach them a lesson! They won?t gather together for the rest of their lives! We?ll take this Bucharest slyness and their stupid actions from the University off their mind! We?ll put things in order!?

The civilians were taking to the miners. There were civilians and lasses down the sidewalk, buying gape seed.

While waiting, I was filled by a very irksome feeling, a sort of civic attitude. And I told the guy: ?Yes, but why using the bat, mister?? Because they were waving bits of high-tension cable, and bats which were practically pick-mattocks or scoops and others carried crowbars. After my stupid question (I must have been an idiot when asking it), a guy said: ? Hold on a little, mate!?

He was all dressed up in brown, wearing a helmet and a brown overall. I sensed that his tone was not announcing anything good but the next moment I was blocked on both sides, two miners grabbing my hands. Next, from behind, on the left side I received a punch in my jaw-temple, which I didn?t like at all. It made me shaky.

1 Mineriada ? generic term attributed to the aggressive movements of the miners towards Bucharest, while led by the leader of the miners? union in Valea Jiului, Miron Cozma, targeted at violently stopping the protest against Iliescu?s regime. The Romanian term ?mineriad?? means precisely miner riot and was coined during these particular events but has no exact counterpart in English.

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