Memories & reflections

CBC Radio Sunday Edition

Generation Next: The Pirate Party of Romania

Aurelian TarcatuCBC Radio's David Gutnick interviews Pirate Party founding member and political candidate Aurelian Tarcatu in Bucharest, Romania. (CBC)

In 2010 there will be general elections in Romania. One of the new political parties that will be presenting candidates is the Pirate Party, a political party that began in Sweden and presently has one member sitting in the European Parliament. Aurelian Tarcatu is one of the founding members of the Pirate Party in Romania. In the autumn of 2009 he visited Revolution Square in downtown Bucharest and spoke about the 1989 Revolution and why he believes his party is necessary. This is a text transcript of that encounter, from the CBC Radio Sunday Edition documentary "Generation Next: Young Minds, Bodies and Souls after Communism. From Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary"


So right now we are standing in front of a government office, which was Ceausescu’s main office, and over that balcony was where he stood during the last minutes of the government…of the communists and the people were starting to shout against him. I was in the 7th grade. I understood the revolution — I mean in my house and I think in my house and in most of the houses there was this discussion and everyone was listening illegally to the radio: Romania Libre — Free Romania — and Voice of America. They were jammed down by the Securitate all the time and my father had this old radio which he had to switch all the time to catch the frequency.

My name is Aurelian Tarcatu. Our party it is called the Pirate Party of Romania. This party is fighting for freedom, not to be watched by the government all the time, you know all these systems that we have right now can develop to kind of an oppressing system. I will show you what I mean. I have here a telephone which is a regular telephone which I can access the internet with, so going to a free program — it is called Google Maps, probably you know it — I can see my location here.

Oh look there you are on the map, next to the statue. So you are worried about that?

Yes I am worried because after six months from now they will know that we met here you know. I think that we shouldn’t be treated — all of us — like this, like bad criminals.

So even though Romania is now a democracy – that the fellow who stood on that balcony so many times, yes, is gone, there are new worries?

The new technologies are allowing for governments to be all knowing, they can now take everything from you — it is seen in the movies but it is actually the reality and probably not many people are worried about this but you know freedom of people should not only be on paper. It should be implemented in the reality.

I look around, I see all these young people in Romanian society, are they worried about their freedoms?

Somebody should wake them up you know, because here there is very little confidence in politics. So you can see the black van in the back of us? Because we are making here an interview…and the van is not moving. And windows are tinted black and the guy at the steering wheel is watching us closely.

So when you see a van like that your first reaction is to think that it is somebody watching us?

Maybe it is just a ghost in our minds. Now you know people have this fear, people who lived in the past.

About the radio documentary

LeninStone cold: statue of Communist leader Vladimir Lenin looks into a democratic future for Ukraine. (CBC/Karin Wells)

On Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall was smashed. That marked the beginning of the end of a dream — for communists. For many people who lived under Soviet domination, it signaled the end of a nightmare.

Almost overnight, capitalism bloomed. Whole economies were redesigned. Free speech flourished. Unemployment soared. So did interest in organized religion. Billionaires popped up. Social safety nets were shredded. Neighbours found out who had been spying on whom. Real elections were held. Here was democracy, or something like it.

Now, from the ashes of the old — still warm, still combustible — the young are building new worlds in Eastern Europe. Theirs is the first post-Soviet generation. They carry the weight of the past, its secrets and lies. And like the young everywhere, they dream about a different future.

This is the first of three CBC Radio Sunday Edition documentaries that bring us the sounds, experiences, ideas and dreams of a special generation in a series called "Generation Next: Young Minds, Bodies and Souls after Communism, from Ukraine, Romania, the Czech Republic and Hungary" produced by Karin Wells and David Gutnick.

LISTEN to Part 1 (53:14)