Friday, March 5, 2010

Riga City Council restricts everyone's freedom, again

The Riga City Council, this time under different political leadership (Mayor Nils Ušakovs of the Harmony Center) has again banned all marches and gatherings at the Freedom Monument on March 16, the day that the Latvian Legion, formed under German occupation in 1943, is commemorated.
The ban affects the Daugavas vanagi organization, a war veterans group as well as two so-called "anti-fascist" groups who were planning to counter-demonstrate against the march by a small number of Legion veterans (many of whom were illegally drafted by Hitler's Germany) and their sympathizers to lay flowers at the Freedom Monument.
Last year, the march was held in defiance of a ban and police successfully kept apart the marchers and counterdemonstrators. This year, there is no reason they cannot do the same and avoid a crass and stupid violation of the freedom of speech and assembly by all concerned. One can only hope that all sides will appeal the ban in court.

No comments: