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10,000 Target Romania Leader in Rally for More Food, Heat

November 23, 1987|Associated Press

VIENNA — Travelers arriving here today said about 10,000 protesters shouting anti-government slogans and demanding more food and heat staged an angry demonstration in Romania's second-largest city.

The protest Nov. 15 in Brasov, a leading industrial center with a population of 340,000, was believed to be the largest anti-government demonstration since the Communist takeover of Romania in 1947.

It came four days after President Nicolae Ceausescu issued the toughest energy-saving measures ever in Romania, mandating a 30% reduction in natural gas and electricity quotas for private homes.

The tourists, and a Western diplomat who visited Brasov over the weekend, said they could not confirm earlier reports that there had been casualties or that buildings were damaged.

The rally occurred the same day as elections for local and county officers.

"They marched from the old part through the downtown area, past the city's main hotels and stores to City Hall shouting, 'We want more food!' and 'We want more heating!' and 'Down with Ceausescu!' " said one woman, who requested anonymity. She said a man on the train, a Brasov resident who was traveling to Budapest, told her of the protest.

She and a traveler from Arad said about 10,000 people reportedly took part in the march, which lasted several hours.

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