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Cecilia Jugănaru (1957) - Biography

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We had endless working days. We were working like robots. What for, I don’t know, because we had no money, we didn’t have anything.

She was born on February 14, 1957, in Mirceşti, Iaşi County. In 1973, at the age of 16, she moved to Braşov, where she graduated from the Industrial High School, specializing in lathe working.

On May 20, 1974, aged 17, she started working at the Steagul Roşu (Red Flag) truck factory in Braşov. She married in 1980 and gave birth to her only child, a boy, in 1981.

On November 14, 1987, at a time when the entire population of Romania was suffering due to the austerity measures taken by Ceauşescu's regime (rationalization of heating, power and warm water supply, food) and the workers of the Steagul Roşu Plant received much lower wages without any explanation from the management of the factory, workers on the third shift refused to start working.

The following day, on November 15, 1987, the protest continued and workers on the first shift joined their fellow colleagues from the third shift, asking the factory management for explanations with regard to the salary cuts.  Cecilia Jugănaru, who was working as a supervisor at the Steagul Roşu Plant at the time, was among them.

Having been left with no answer from the factory management, hundreds of workers took to the streets, making their way to the Prefecture headquarters. Since elections for the county councils were being held the same day, workers were joined on their way by other people as well, so that several thousand people gathered in front of the building of the Braşov Prefecture, shouting „We want food for our children!", „We want light!", „We want heating!", „We want our money back!". Someone in the crowd started chanting „Deşteaptă-te române!" (Awaken thee, Romanian!" - current national anthem of Romania, written during the 1848 Revolution and later banned by the communist regime.). „Down with Ceauşescu!", „Down with communism!" could also be heard. Talks with the authorities led to no results and the angry mob stormed the official building of the County Committee. Ceauşescu's framed picture landed on the front steps of the building, along with the red flag of the Romanian Communist Party, burning in flames in a matter of seconds.

The anti-terrorism squad of the Securitate arrived several hours later. Some of the protesters were arrested on the spot.

On the evening of November 18, Cecilia Jugănaru was called in for questioning by the police, but was ultimately taken into custody for participating in the protest. After a two-day investigation, she was transferred, along with other persons who had been arrested, to the General Police Inspectorate in Bucharest where the investigations continued.

After almost two weeks of interrogations, Cecilia Jugănaru was sent back to Braşov and was released from custody only after she was asked to keep quiet about everything that she had seen or experienced during the time of her arrest.

On December 17, 1987, her employment contract with the Steagul Roşu Plant was terminated and she was forced to get a job at the Mechanical Factory in Braşov.

One year after the events, on November 15, 1988, Cecilia Jugănaru was once again called in by the police to give a statement. The same happened on November 15, 1989.

After the Romanian Revolution of 1989, she started working again at the Steagul Roşu Plant until April 1, 2004.

At the present time Cecilia Jugănaru is living in Braşov and is a member of the November 15, 1987 Association.

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