Monday, March 7, 2011

F**kwit Riga city administration just doesn't learn, suspends free speech again

The fuckwit (yes, the term is appropriate, once is a mistake, more than twice, well...) acting Riga City manager Māris Kalve has yet again forbidden any and all requested public meetings relating to March 16, a day on which various groups have commemorated the World War II Latvian Legion and others have protested this commemoration. Needless to say, the Latvian Legion, formed during the German occupation of Latvia, was controversial. Most of the Legion was drafted, yet the soldiers predominantly fought in the belief that they were defending Latvia against the return of Soviet terror experienced in 1940-41. Some members of the Legion may have come  from police battalions formed earlier and involved in surpression of anti-German partisans.
Prior to the formation of the Legion in 1943, the Holocaust took place in Latvia, and there are some members of contemporary Latvian society who believe (inaccurately, but they are nonetheless  entitled to believe so) that the Latvian Legion can be equated with Nazism. These so-called anti-Fascist groups have also announced they would hold demonstrations on March 16. All of these intended manifestations of viewpoints, some of them extreme (young nationalists and ultranationalists are also "commemorating" the Legion), are part of the contentious, noisy public dialog of a free and democratic society. Kalve, using his office in a fuckwit manner, has attempted to stop this dialog. This is a direct threat to free speech, freedom of assembly and democracy in Latvia. Last year, a court annulled a similar ban. The Riga City administration has learned nothing. Last summer it allowed, then violated the free speech rights of people organizing by dispersing, a crackpot (in my opinion) commemoration of the "liberation" of Riga by German forces on July 1, 1941.
It is the duty of a democratic municipal government to respect the right of all citizens, regardless of their political views, to free speech and peaceful free assembly. This includes assembling sufficient police forces to keep opposing, hostile groups apart, something which the city has managed to do in the past (even when contending groups simply violated bans on marching and gathering). It should do the same on March 16 and rescind the ban on public meetings before the courts do so.
The ban, of course, has caused an understandable outcry among commentators on Latvian internet news portals, but it has also brought other democrats out of the woodwork. These people are calling on the authorities to ban celebrations on May 9, when mainly Russian war veterans, their families and supporters gather to mark the end of World War II as understood in Soviet times (the rest of the world commemorates May 8). I would agree the many of the old geezers, wittingly or unwittingly, are celebrating what, to most Latvians, was the beginning of another, longer and more devastating occupation than any that took place during the war. The commentators accused Riga mayor Nils Ušakovs, an ethnic Russian, of favoring the May 9 celebrants. While this may be true ro some extent, it is no reason to ban May 9 or any other peaceful public celebration. If mayor Ušakovs' attendance at May 9 events offends voters, they can try to throw him out of office at the next municipal election. That is also a democratic right.

For the record:  From The Urban Dictionary 
Someone who despite constant failure, is unable to learn from these transgressions. Continues to do foolish and irritating things, which aggravate many people. They are not only a halfwit, but also significantly fucked in the head. Hence the term fuckwit. 


Anonymous said...

Miermīlīga puķu nolikšana pie brīvības pieminekļa pavisam noteikti ir miera un drošības apdraudējums, tāpēc arī aizliedzams...

JUDGERLD said...

Is Latvia sinking back into a Soviet style dictatorship? It has recently been announced that the Riga city council has banned all public assembly's on March 16, 2011 which honor their nation's freedom fighters. Yet, last year Riga's ethnic Russian mayor, Nils Usakov's, attended the May 9, "victory" event. This day "celebrates" the enslavement of the Baltic peoples by Stalin and his satanic forces. Apparently, amid their country's economic meltdown, some people have forgotten about the mass murder, raping, torture, and deportations which took place under the communist reign of terror in Latvia. Now, the ultimate insult has been committed against the elderly heroes, of the Latvian Legion, who sacrificed everything attempting to save their country and loved ones. Do these Riga politicians have no shame? Surely there must be a special place in Hell for such despicable cretins!

Anonymous said...

Wow...and I thought the anti-russian rhetoric didn't touch you, Juris...There is a difference between "nation loving soldiers" and "jew killing monsters" don't ya' think? Many people, Latvian and Russian think of them that way, maybe the ban isn't made to suppress free speech, but to protect those old veterans from the young Russian anti-fascist groups hating them so much? And the comment "Judgerld' made just points out the nationalistic values and passive-aggressive hatred you often write about on your "Failed State" blog.