The call to gather on Wednesday was initially circulated by opposition MP Aldis Gobzems. During the reviewing of the draft law, the deputy began to call his supporters to gather at the Saeima. People arrived at the Saeima building first, then went to the government building on a march to the Freedom Monument. Gobzems himself was present, and he streamed the whole thing live on Facebook.
Latvian Television observed that people of different ages were present, mostly people of working age. Some people had Latvian national flags, some - posters expressing dissatisfaction with the vaccination process and vaccination of children. People shouted different slogans.
About 60 people also gathered in Liepāja, Rožu Square, to express a negative stance against “compulsory vaccination. People in attendance told Rus.lsm.lv that they came of their own volition and did not know that others would gather.
The protesters arrived in Rožu Square on Wednesday evening for a variety of reasons.
“I stand for my own and all the more for my children's rights. I wish my children had a choice. If we don't do anything now, they won't have rights at all,” said Rožu Square visitor Viesturs [no surnames were quoted].
Ketija said: “I'm not against vaccination. I'm against coercion. This should be a free choice. If a person thinks he needs to be vaccinated - on with it. And if he doesn't want to, then that must be his right. In the end, all ministers said vaccination would only be voluntary. Now?”
“I very much hope that this action will change something. Latvians have 'slept on sofas' for too long, finally need to express their views not just in the kitchen. I hope some kind of compromise can be achieved if we cannot win. I'm a teacher and I work full-time all year, no child, no teacher has fallen ill. If I'm forced to get vaccinated … I'm very keen to stay in my job, so I'm going to have a tough choice,” said Evija, resident of Liepāja.
Others gathered in Liepaja to express their support for the education sector also expressed similar views.
State Police acknowledged they were aware of both events and that the one in Rīga involved "several hundred" people and had not received permission to take place.
Šobrīd Rīgas centrā nesankcionēti sapulcējušies vairāki simti cilvēku. ⁰Valsts policija ir koncentrējusi savus spēkus notikuma vietās un atrodas klātienē, lai nodrošinātu sabiedrisko kārtību un drošību. Šī nesankcionētā pasākuma organizatora atbildība tiks izvērtēta. Vairāk: pic.twitter.com/wkwnfWrb4t— Valsts policija (@Valsts_policija) August 4, 2021