Arboreal assassins go on mini Rīga rampage

Take note – story published 5 years ago

The ongoing battle between Riga city council and environmental activists over how many trees should be growing in Riga city center experienced an unexpected and violent intervention from the United Kingdom May 21.

Two young British ladies decided the presence of greenery in one of the main city streets was not to their liking and so embarked upon a brief session of arboreal rearrangement the like of which has not been seen since last year's Chelsea Flower Show.

However, in this case the two daughters of Albion married their horticultural opinions to a punk rock ethos and simply pushed over some large pots in which small trees had been quite innocently going about their business. The trees had not uttered a single provocative anti-British syllable to justify this act of wanton deforestation. 

Having laid out the helpless shrubs to their satisfaction, the two Boadicean Britons made haste to escape the battlefield. However, like their progenitor they were eventually run to ground by the forces of the Republic, in this case Riga municipal police rather than the Roman legions of Gaius Suetonius Paulinus.

Video footage has the two destructive debutantes readily admitting their culpability, declaring: "We're just drunk. We think we're funny, but we're not." Reasonable assertions on all counts.

"It's wrong, it's not right," they add, having apparently regained full clarity of thought in the back of a police van.

As ever, Riga's municipal police emerge from the whole contretemps as the real stars.

"Take a seat and don't break anything in here please," quips one of the arresting officers before delivering an impressive lecture on comparative ethics and cultural difference that could very easily be included on the Roedean finishing school syllabus. 

The tourists received a protocol for petty hooliganism and a fine of EUR 100 each and can consider themselves lucky not to have been charged with illegal logging, which carries a far harsher penalty. 

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