Mircea Diaconu

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A participant in the Romanian Revolution, he was rehearsing a play at Nottara when Nicolae Ceaușescu's final speech began on 21 December 1989. During the day, he and his colleagues organized students to go to area factories and urge workers to declare an immediate strike. He spent the night outdoors with students, believing that, although the uprising lacked familiar leaders who could be trusted, the crowd at least recognized popular actors' faces. During the night, Securitate secret police fired through apartment windows, while the next morning, Diaconu saw that agents had quietly killed people with brass knuckles. However, he soon noticed that a revolution was in full swing, the boulevards leading to the city center packed with advancing workers who had trapped two tanks, one of which he rode to the Central Committee building from which Ceaușescu had spoken the previous day. Later, he was among several figures to appear before a microphone in Palace Square. Addressing a throng chanting anti-Ceaușescu slogans, he repeated an appeal for calm.