'Rīga Marxist Assembly' on security authorities' radar

A “Marxist assembly” encouraging workers to fight the bourgeois dictatorship in Latvia hosts lectures on Marxism and Leninism, issues a printed underground newspaper and divides it to workers at factories while avoiding state authorities. It sounds like a trip in the past, but it turns out that it is very much a reality today, Latvian Television reported October 21.

“Hello comrades! I welcome you to our Rīga Marxist assembly,” one of the countless videos posted on the Internet by the “Latvian Workers Front” (LSF) begins. It is an association officially registered in Latvia, which has indicated research and promotion of scientific socialism as its operational objective, as well as the promotion of trade unions.

By studying the society's website, it appears that it is not only lecturing but also issuing a printed paper and keeping profiles on various social networks, where workers are invited to resist the bourgeois dictatorship. The activity is financed by members' money, which, judging by the annual report, amounts to a total of EUR 700 per year.

Defending the rights of workers in itself would be commendable; however, security authorities have noted that in the case of the “Latvian Workers Front”, this is probably just a cover, because, in investigating their activities, much more than the situation of the workers emerges.

According to information at the disposal of LTV, it was the 'Latvian Workers' Front', along with a Lithuanian activist, Stanislovas Tomas, who complained to the UN Human Rights Committee about plans to dismantle the Soviet Monument in Pārdaugava.

The UN's objections reached Latvia late. Moreover, as explained later by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the UN Human Rights Committee is not a court and its views are not legally binding on the State.

The Latvian Workers' Front has also come on the State Security Service (VDD) radar, which concludes that the official targets of action only cover anti-governmental activities.

According to the VDD, despite the objectives stated officially, the association aims to disseminate the ideas of communism and messages corresponding to Russia's foreign political interests in Latvia.

In VDD's assessment, the public activities of the association are aimed at provoking intolerance among the representatives of the various social layers, preaching the so-called “class struggle”.

In addition, the materials issued by the association contain indirect calls for violence. For example, it cites Lenin's thesis in the paper “The Fight of the Workers” that “a bourgeois country cannot be replaced by a proletarian state without a violent revolution”.

The Law on Associations and Foundations prevents associations from distributing proposals regarding the violent modification of the Latvian State establishment, preaching the ideology of communism, or encouraging violence.

Two activists of the Front have recently been included in the so-called “blacklist” and expelled from Latvia. According to unofficial information, there are a few dozen members on the Workers Front.

The Latvian Workers' Front at first refused interviews, but after several days of silence, a woman contacted LTV, introducing herself as LSF administrator, Jeļena.

LTV: What is your organization's purpose, and do people have a reason to worry about your actions?

Jeļena: There is no reason to worry, unless people are the ones whose interests are contrary to those of workers and employees. We are doing the same thing as the trade unions – defending the interests of workers. All that outrage is for the sake of the monument, not for our actions.

LTV: That's your role in the story of the monument – I understand, you were also the organization that turned to the UN with Stanislovas Tomas?

Jeļena: Yes, since the UN cannot be addressed by legal societies, our members came together.

LTV: But what does this monument have to do with defending the interests of workers?

Jeļena: Very simple – Fascism is a creature of capital. Fascism was created by capital and capital fights against workers.

Jeļena also denied that there would be indirect calls for violence in its materials. But the VDD is in other thoughts. Therefore, it asked the National Electronic Mass Media Council to block the website of the association, as reported before. On October 17, the VDD sent a letter to the Prosecutor General encouraging the cessation of the activities of the association. Both the association and its home page continue to operate as of now.

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