Monday, March 16, 2009

Banned march takes place without incident

The banned march to commemorate members of the World War II Latvian Legion and small counterdemonstrations took place despite an official ban. More than 1000 police did not interfere with any of the actvities, although there were a small number of arrests. This makes the ban and the talk of serious threats to public order sound ridiculous. But at least people were allowed to exercise their freedom of assembly and speech. Here is a short video I took:


Talis said...

Apparently threats were made from different anti factions concerning the March 16th commemoration, serious enough for the council to not approve the permits and for the security forces to be out in full swing. That I can actually understand and give them credit for. Regardless of no permits, Daugavas Vanagi and Viss Latvijai had loosely organized the march after church services to Milda. Security forces still permitted this, even though it was borderline illegal. They also permitted the "others" to congregate and express their views. Now, if our security forces were doing their jobs, they would have had their people out there taking pictures and taking notes of who the "others" are and we can get a better picture of who the subversives are in our little country. By letting everybody do their bit, the subversives also feel they can come out freely and safely to speak their mind, but now we also know who they are!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting. I agree, banning a peaceful rally is not what one would expect in a democratic country. But to me, it is quite alarming to see how much contemporary Latvia is drenched with ethnocentric nationalism. Taking into consideration a considerable Russian minority in the country, it is sad to see how much tension there is between the titular national group and the Russian-speaking minority. The country should seriously think how to cohere and homogenize those two groups. Events like this March 16th commemoration are set not to befriend the divided but to escalate the tensions even further.