A planned march by the Szekler National Council to commemorate the Szekler martyrs executed in 1854, and to manifest for the Szekler Autonomy in front of the prefect’s office was banned at Targu Mures, by the mayor of the town, Dorin Florea. The mayor justified the decision by claiming that last year there were incidents, and also because he sustains he already authorized Easter related events at certain key locations of the itinerary where the planned march was going to unfold.
What is more, he declared that he will not allow the march to take place neither in 2016, nor in 2017, and in case the organizers will „incite people to participate in spite of the ban, the instigators will be prosecuted”.
Balázs Izsák, the President of the Szekler National Council declared in reaction to the mayor’s decision, that the authorities did not officially signal any major incidents last year to the organizers, and in his opinion the real stake in this case is the state of the Romanian democracy, given the fact that after 25 years since the regime change, Szeklers are being obstructed and prevented from freely manifesting and protesting and that in itself is a major democratic setback for Romania.
Izsák emphasized that the legislation regarding the right to gather and manifest clearly states that protests does not have to be authorized, but only announced beforehand, and according to the law the authorities does not have the right to ban a manifestation. He considers the local authorities have overstepped their mark by banning a democratic protest.
Other Szekler leaders, among them Sándor Tamás, the President of Covasna County Council also condemned the decision of the mayor of Targu Mures, expressing his discontentment over the ban, declaring that he considers the backing out of the Szekler National Council from holding the protest is a mistake. “We should not back down, because protesting and expressing our views is our democratic right”, stated the president.
The ban resulted in Szeklers to mobilize and to organize manifestations in many towns and localities throughout Szeklerland. Many voices within the Szekler community strongly call for another major march of the Szeklers to be organized again this year, alike The Great March of the Szeklers in 2012, when more than 130.000 people formed a 55 km long human chain in protest against the government’s unjust regionalization plan and in support for the establishment of the Autonomy of Szeklerland.