News/20100417

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PAN-ROMANIAN RALLY ERUPTS INTO VIOLENCE

from the Interbalkpress, 17 April 2010

(Bucureşti, Muntenia) The Cişmigiu Gardens, one of Muntenia's most beautiful and popular public parks, became the site of bloodshed following a clash involving Pan-Romanians and Pavelists with local police. Initially, the rally/protest was to simply feature a series of PanRomanian speakers, expressing concern over what they view as the pollution of Romania by foreign elements, especially Hungarians. One focus of their anger is Queen Elena I's husband, the Xliponia-born Prince Consort Luc de Mersdon. Many openly oppose the status of their daughter Crown Princess Anira, named after a Xliponian saint (the queen and her family were forced into exile during the SNORist era, taking refuge in Xliponia). The 17-year-old Crown Princess was formally given the Creţulescu Palace as her official residence earlier this month, which lies in close proximity with the Gardens.

Local constabulary were present to watch over the rally, estimated at somewhere between 4,500 and 5,000 in number. A minority carried sign Pavelist pamphlet began to be handed out. Pavelists are a Catholic group who share many of the same goals as PanRomanians, sans the suspicion of all non-Orthodox. They hold that a Romanian priest was elected Pope and took the name Pavel in 1958 then was assassinated before he could be installed.

Some kind of scuffle broke out amid the protesters over these Pavelist pamphlets, with blows being exchanged. Police officers moved to intervene, whereupon (according to reports) other parts of the crowd began to pelt police in their vicinity with rocks. Others fled and at least one car accident occurred in the wake of this.

Three protesters were killed in a melee that broke out in the confusion as police sought to arrest those engaging in violence. According to police, one of these was an elderly woman who suffered what appears to be a heart attack. Two others sustained injuries amidst the fighting, including a broken neck after a fall. Apparently the third was beaten to death. Two police officers were also injured, none seriously.

Over two dozen arrests were made on the scene. Romanian President (and Muntenia citizen) Nicodim Popescu has called for an official investigation by the Federation itself into events. Popescu's nephew is married to Princess Sofia, Queen Elena's sister and next in line for the throne after Princess Anira. He is an avowed PanRomanian, believing in furthering what he calls "unique Romanian culture" and the "reclaiming" of Transylvania.

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