We almost missed the counter-march by the ‘New Right’ Romania Nationalist group. Walking back from breakfast, the morning of the GayFest march, we spotted some young men with shaved heads and large signs depicting homophobic messages. They were just beginning their march from Revolution Square, through a mile of city streets, to Union Square.
I would say there was a small crowd of about 100-150 people in attendance. Their march was called – the “March for Normality”. Many were dressed in large black boots, shaved heads, military style camo-pants, and black shirts etched with the image of a white Celtic cross, they looked intimidating. However, as we were told beforehand by members of the LGBT community, this group isn’t necessarily violent, and being a nationalist organization with a variety of issues that concern it, not just homosexuality, they usually only put on a demonstration against LGBT people maybe once a year, and leave the community alone during the rest of the time.
More energetic than Friday’s “March for Families,” these men, and some women, strode down the main streets of Bucharest, as the rain poured down, to deliver their message against homosexuality. Following an old car with an oversized speaker hanging out the rear, the group was led in chants and hate-slogans. As the rain increased the participants yelled in victory – hoping this would mean difficulties for the afternoon’s pride march.