?(?) one couldn?t have got out in the streets if one hadn?t been able to be a leader, to say either/or!?[11]

They believe that they are endowed with such a strong-willed character, which the new political power was aware of, continually trying to drive a wedge between them:

?(?) They are afraid of the revolutionaries; the power has kept trying to split us up for 13 years.(?) They are afraid of us, they definitely know that this is a sensitive area?? (namely Timisoara n. a.).[12]

In the case of this assertion the dichotomy them/us easily slips towards acquiring a local cultural distinction; Timisoara versus Bucharest as different cultural areas, competing with each other. As is known, the Romanian revolution was initiated in Timisoara and continued in other major cities of the country and in the capital, while revolutionary programs were also formulated here. In spite of the active role and the huge risks taken by the protesters then, in December 1989, their 13-year absence from the country?s political stage was justified by interviewees as follows:

?We were weak, politically unprepared and unwilling to make any compromise. We have waited for 13 years, not getting involved in public life; we didn?t want to be compromised? ?the children of the revolution are the first to be devoured?[14]

They judged that they were aware of the political stakes and of the strategies through which the political power had kept them under control:

?These people couldn?t be kept together and disciplined except by means of material motivation, that is under law 42. This law was an illusion for us and a reality for them, the former nomenklatura, the second generation of communists.?

?(?) They are afraid of us, there are people among us whose aim is to divide us.

If we had been united and disciplined and had had some sort of economic motivation we would certainly have been a force, a real force by now.?[15]

These discourses advocate, sometimes passionately, the (re)-legitimating of the revolutionary identity. Bridging the gap between ?then? (the mythical time of their revolutionary protests) and ?now? is meant to construct a sense of continuity of their pro-active role in the Romanian transition. Implicitly, these kinds of discourse reveal other social representations of revolution, an alternative mythical view: the unfinished revolution.

Once more, ?it is clear that identity (however inexplicit), boundary (however elusive and nebulous), and authenticity (however contested and contestable) are matters in which people invest huge value.?(Cohen 2000, 5)

Searching for Truth and Justice: aspects of the trials of the revolution

I consider that the phenomenon of the Romanian revolution can be conceived as an iceberg event, having a deep history and causing long-term effects. Referring to its violent side, it might be regarded as a traumatic event of the present past, whose deep ambiguity has generated difficult memories. I suggest, therefore, that scrutinizing it towards a comprehensive understanding involves a form of catharsis. This kind of approach belongs to the more general and sensitive issue of ?treating a difficult past?. (Ash 2002)[16] Therefore, the complex issue of the trials of the revolution, as well as the controversial issue of rewards and compensation, which we have already discussed, should be addressed in this broader context. However, the aim of this paper is more modest. I shall refer here to the trials of the revolution merely as another level at which the dichotomy us/them has been performed.