“A World Without Walls“:
An International Congress on "Soft Power", Cultural Diplomacy and Interdependence

(Berlin; November 6th - 9th, 2009)

"1989: The Year that Changed the World"

December 17th

Chaos Reins in Romania

Revolution sweeps across the nation
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December 17th: The bloody suppression of protesters in the western city of Timisoara would soon escalate into chaos across all of Romania.

Romanian Security Forces entered the city in order to confiscate Laszlo Tokes, a pastor in the Reformed Church who was to be exiled from Timisoara because of his outspoken views on human rights and the treatment of Romania's Hungarian minority.

As security forces arrived, they found themselves face to face with hundreds of citizens who surrounded the church in order to protect Tokes. As they attempted unsuccessfully to use water cannons to disperse the crowd, more people joined its ranks and the protest soon escalated out of control.

Thousands of people ran through the streets of Timisoara as they tore down pictures of President Nicolae Ceausescu and smashed the windows of government buildings.

In Bucharest, news of the uprising reached President Beausescu and his response was ruthless. On his orders, security forces were to kill any and all protesters. Tanks were deployed into the area as security forces shot and killed scores of citizens
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As word of the violence spread, soon all of Romania would find itself in the midst of a revolution, one that would eventually take Ceausescu out of power.