Autonomy for Székelyland

The leaders of Romania's Hungarian political organizations demanded autonomy for Székelyland and talked about the power of cooperation at the great Székely March last Sunday. Demonstrators insisted on maintaining the temporary borders of Székelyland determined earlier and called for a referendum to confirm it.

Organizers estimated the number of participants to be around 120 000, while authorities claimed that there were 15 000 people attending the march. The demonstrators gathered at 14 meeting points along the road connecting Brassó (Brașov) and Bákó (Bacău), listened to ecumenical services, then started marching towards each other in columns. The meeting groups eventually formed a 53-kilometre long continuous column along the road.

Székelys proclaimed that they wanted to exercise their right for self-government and based on this right, they demand autonomy for Székelyland within Romania. The text of the proclamation was interpreted by Balázs Izsák, the president of the Székely National Council in the radio broadcast of the march. The proclamation points out to the Romanian government that derogation of dialogue, ignorance of the will of Székelys and the constant persecution of Székely symbols will neither break nor exhaust Székelys' struggle for autonomy. "After this day the government either begins a real dialogue with Székely representatives about the proclaimed will of the Székely people or there will be more and stronger demonstrations, including civil disobedience" - the proclamation says.

Gábor Vona's first official trip as a Prime Ministerial candidate led to Székelyland as well. Jobbik's president said that they had left Budapest in two buses on Saturday night, but many people had driven in their own cars from rump Hungary as well. They also attended  the ecumenical service in the morning, then the 53-kilometre-long continuous column went on in two directions.

Vona said there was an enormous number of people and the atmosphere was great. The organizers had asked participants not to fly party banners, so there were only the Hungarian, Székely and Árpád-striped flags accompanying the march. The demonstration was very touching, they sang the Hungarian as well as the Székely anthem. Jobbik's president believes that the demonstration showed the significant popular support for Székely autonomy, which can wholeheartedly be approved by anyone with a patriotic mindset.

The massivedemonstration was peaceful, there were no atrocities.