Thousands of people were protesting against current president Traian Basescu and his Democratic-Liberal government in central Bucharest on Thursday evening. Two protests started in the afternoon - one organized by the opposition Social Democrats and Liberals (the USL union) at the Arcul de Triumf square, and another, popular protest in Universitate Square. While the political protest ended at 7 p.m., many of its estimated 7,000 participants moved to Universitate, where reporters estimated some 2,000 people were present by 8 p.m..

  • UPDATE The protests concluded about midnight, shortly after a series of confrontations between police and violent protesters took place. The incidents started at about 11.00 p.m., when gendarmes responded with a strong push after several young men, apparently football supporters, provoked them. The gendarmes eventually cleared the Universitate Square of protesters. Meanwhile, a US government official quoted by the AFP urged Romanian authorities and protesters to show restraint from violence.

Top Liberal and Social Democratic leaders joined the opposition protest at Arcul de Triumf, but Liberals were dominant, with very few Social Democratic Party members present there, according to reporters. The political leaders told demonstrators they were supporting the calls by people who have been protesting for days at Universitate for a change of the current leadership and the resignation of President Basescu and the government led by Emil Boc.

VIDEO Protests start in Universitate Square for the seventh day:

Some 7,000 people joined the opposition protest, while organisers had expected some 10,000 participants. The protest extended to Victoriei Square, where the Romanian government had its headquarters.

By the end of the demonstration, Social Democratic leader Victor Ponta told people moving to the Universitate protest to avoid acts of violence such as those reported last weekend, when police and demonstrators clashed downtown Bucharest two nights in a row.

At Universitate, the protest included average people, but also organised groups such as those of football club fans.

VIDEO Football fans joined the Universitate protests once again:

Many protesters were carrying banners and chanting slogans against both the current leadership of the country and the opposition. One member of the Liberal party, Ludovic Orban, was involved in a scuffle as protesters disagreed with his presence there, according to reporters.

Thursday is the sixth day of protests in Bucharest.

VIDEO - Liberal leader Ludovic Orban booed at the Universitate protest: