The miners on the miner riots


During the last meeting I told the prosecutor: ?Sir, in the mine it is the same like in the army, you have to obey the orders. If the manager ordered me to go to Bucharest, I had no other choice! The manager is responsible for me, I am responsible for the people under my command. That is why I took the tally book with me and registered the people in Bucharest.?

You had to go, you had no other choice and if the governing people hadn?t asked us to go there, I think nobody would have gone? Yet, the miners had been manipulated because we had threatened with losing our jobs, with the coming of the great monopoles which would have closed the mines down, this kind of rumours. The psychosis had been huge? But it is more than obvious who thanked the miners for this manifestation and implicitly who generated the psychosis?

I had 150 people under my command, out of which 90% joined me and the rest stayed behind for the inspection (for watching over the machines) in the mine.

(V.C- former miner foreman, presently a pensioner)


For example, during the June 1990 miner riot we were kind of expecting to be fired at even from Basarabi Railway station and we were making plans and thinking of what we were going to do once we got there. We thought that in Bucharest army troops were fighting with security troops, those who had fired at people during the Revolution and that we had been summoned there to join the army which was faithful to the new society, to the new leadership of the country. And it was more than normal for violence to explode in the days to come. Never mind the fact that, concealed by these events, a lot of people cleared the scores with others.

(Petru Braiţ- former electrician at E.M Petri-la, former leader of those made redundant)


The question of our manipulation has been asked all over again. Of course we didn?t believe it at the time. Practically, manipulation ceases to be effective when the man becomes aware of it. The January and February miner riots had been but a sort of trump for certain leaders who implicitly were trying to say: ?If it happens for something to go wrong in Bucharest, look how prompt the miners are!? I blamed it on the need to be part of certain events unfold in the country during those days. In 1990 Romania was a country which belonged to the miners!

(Petru Braiţ- former electrician at E.M Petri-la, former leader of those made redundant)


I also took part in the June 1990 miner riot.

I will never forget it for the rest of my life. I was working in the first shift. And I heard my mates talking that Iliescu and Petre Roman had asked the miners to go to Bucharest because the opposition had attacked the Television, Cotroceni Palace and the Government.

My mates knew all that because they had been announced by our union leaders. And Miron Cozma addressed all the mines by saying: ?all the good people should come and defend the State?. And then we were immediately given some sets of cars and we left. This is where I would like to say that lots of innocent people got beaten.

They got beaten both by the army and by the miners because as soon as we got there the two joined forces. Yet, one can say that the miners are not generally violent, just easily susceptible and the majority of the miners here have barely graduated a few grades, very few having gone to trade schools.

A lot of poor quality miners have been brought to the valley: thieves, burglars, robbers. And to be honest, no one did the tally for the miners who went to Bucharest then. Other people came down from the country, from Craiova, Târgu-Jiu, etc. and many overalls and boots had been sold on a lot of money, even in Bucharest.

(Nagy Bela- former brigade leader, former leader of those made redundant)


It wasn?t only Miron Cozma who affected our image. I personally entered the television with him and somebody gave Cozma a gun which he personally handed over to Răzvan Theodorescu, when entering the television, and Corneliu Roşiianu, the editor at the moment, is a witness of that. And Cozma said: ?we aren?t here to cause violence?, in order to be judged for illegally carrying a gun.

Watching back retrospectively I cannot believe that we went there to defend the state, I?d rather say that it was a political game directed by? Iliescu. And I am not afraid of saying it because the Romanian Constitution states it that I can express my opinion and I think that nobody can take this right away from me.

He is to blame for having summoned the miners and their leader in order to nail him for 18 years when he didn?t need him anymore. And Cozma is not to blame for the 1991 miner riot either. I think that Miron Cozma properly defended the miners? rights. Today, their life is tougher!

(Nagy Bela- former brigade leader, former leader of those made redundant)


We were a sort of bodyguard of the F.S.N1. The police even gave us to drink? packs, packs of whisky, when we didn?t even know what that was. And then they took us to the Triumph Arch. During the night they were taking us to sleep in a nearby room while during the day we were asked to act. Yet, something didn?t fit there. Because as we got on one side, they appeared to pick us up on the other, ?let?s go on the other side?. And there you could find two or three guys, but they were wearing clean overalls, which is hardly the case in a mine. And they made us move from one side to the other. We didn?t pay attention to those guys then, only afterwards. It was only afterwards that we could see clear! I think that Cozma also had been manipulated.

(G.V- locksmith at Vulcan mine)


I didn?t take part in the miner riots because I cannot be influenced by the effects of the collective mechanics. Even if I had been afterwards questioned by my colleagues regarding my lack of commitment, I overtly told them that I could-n?t have been part of such a manipulation.

(D.L- electrician at the Vulcan mine, emigrant in the U.S.A with the Visa Lottery)

15. The February 1990 Miner Riot

We had the feeling that we had to protect Iliescu, that is why, in the train, on the way there, we were thinking of the fact that we had to make sure that nobody would beat Iliescu, take him out of the country or something along the line. The word Iliescu was part of the daily routine. Afterwards I got home and I was hospitalised, but it wasn?t only me, I can say it was one of ten of those coming back from Bucharest who was ill.

(Holban Marian- former underground electrician, at present a union leader at Petrosani mine)

 <<  2  3  4  5  6  7  >>

Martor nr 1/1996
Martor nr 2/1997
Martor nr 3/1998
Martor nr 4/1999
Martor nr 5/2000
Martor nr 6/2001
Martor nr 7/2002
Martor nr 8-9/2003-2004
Martor nr 10/2005
Martor nr 11/2006
Martor nr 12/2007

© 2003 Aspera Pro Edu Foundation. Toate drepturile rezervate. Termeni de confidentialitate. Conditii de utilizare