Friday, January 30, 2009

Political flash mob in Riga (videoblog)

The first political flash mob action took place in Riga, January 30 in front of the parliament (Saeima). The protestors, mainly employees and listeners of Latvia's public service radio (Latvijas Radio), stood silently with their mouths taped shut, protesting budget cuts and serious financial irregularities that have already "silenced" a significant part of the radio's programming. The radio, despite oversight by its own board of diretors and the National Radio and Television Council managed to run up accounts payable of nearly 800 000 LVL. The disclosure resulted in the sudden resignation of the director of Latvija Radio.
From a free speech viewpoint, the flash mob passed without incident. A few municipal policemen, dressed in ordinary street uniforms (no riot gear) patrolled near the event, which gathered at most some 100 people, including more than a dozen journalists and television crew members.

This is how it looked:


Andrejs Visockis said...

Maybe my own preconceptions are a little outdated but I have always envisaged flashmobs as a teenage thing :) It's somewhat refreshing to see a flashmob of seniors. I guess now that many of them are being laid off, they'll have more time on their hands to engage in such activities!

Daniel Frank said...

Is it possible to sit down and talk with you in Riga sometime in the next few days?
I'm a swedish journaliststudent on a parachutejournalism-mission sent here by my professors at Södertörns university (, Stockholm.
I'd like to talk to you about latvian media, eventual shifts in reporting a.s.o.
I'm in Riga 'til thursday 15.00.

Please respond to:

Best wishes
Daniel Frank

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Employees of Latvia's public service radio (Latvijas Radio) have called for a flash-mob to gather near the parliament (Saeima) building for five minutes on Friday,sportsbook January 30 to stand in complete silence to protest the "silencing" of the national radio service through budget cuts and a large deficit apparently cause by negligence by persons and authorities responsible for the oversight of its operations