Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Latvian Security Police Question Radio Journalist

The Latvian Security Police summoned Didzis Melbiksis,  a journalist from Latvian Radio, for questioning in connection with a post on what was apparently his private blog. Melbiksis told me this at an informal meeting of supporters of the Penguin Movement and I did not get all the details. What he posted, for informational purposes, was an anonymous document circulated on the internet ahead of the January 13 riots calling for a violent revolt against the Latvian government. While some of the suggestions in the document (such as preparing Molotov cocktails, which would have started fires and caused burns to anyone hit) were not carried out, the appeal was, in fact,  followed (perhaps through inspiration, not direct cause) by the riot.
I believe that even pamphlets calling for revolution are covered by the freedom of speech. One such example -- The American Declaration of Independence. The ideas of the Declaration could, by analogy, in some people's opinion,  be applied to the current situation in Latvia:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

1 comment:

Pierre said...

Not to be too picky, but the US Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of speech, came some 10 years after the Declaration of Independence. Thus, the latter was indeed a seditious document to the ruling Brits at the time.

But your point is still valid. Where would the Americas be if these patriots had not taken matters into their own hands? A shining example for other oppressed peoples to emulate.