- Romanians fill the square near the building where the country's Cabinet meets
- They are protesting laws that could make life easier for new ruling party
Romanian emergency services officials said five people -- three protesters and two law enforcement officers -- were hospitalized with undisclosed injuries.
Video from the Romanian capital showed several helmeted police officers, separated from demonstrators by a barricade, aiming pepper spray at the protesters.
A few people threw flares and other objects at the security forces and pushed dumpsters full of trash into the street. A small fire began later.
Many protesters waved Romanian flags or brought signs.
As Wednesday became Thursday, most protesters had left the square near the building that houses Romania's Cabinet.
Protesters also took to the streets in 50 other cities across the country, including Timisoara, Cluj-Napoca, Iasi, Sibiu, Brasov, Arad, Galati, Craiova, Constanta and Alba-Iulia.