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Tūkstoši pulcējas gājienā

Thousands turn out to support removal of Soviet relics

Friday evening saw a rally in Rīga titled "Getting Rid of Soviet Heritage" attract large numbers of participants.

State Police estimated that about 5,000 people had attended and paraded from the much-loved Freedom Monument to the not-much-loved Soviet Victory Monument, where songs were sung and speeches were given.

The procession from the Freedom Monument started at 6 pm. Many Latvian flags, and several Ukrainian flags were in evidence.

The march, which extended for around a kilometer, was monitored by several hundred police officers.

In general, the event took place in a peaceful atmosphere, although there were some minor conflicts. According to the State Police, one person was detained for trying to get in the way to prevent the march. A second person was arrested for petty hooliganism, for making rude gestures from passing public transport. In total, the information of the State Police shows that 8 persons were detained during the march, Latvian Television reported.

The march was organized chiefly to express support for the demolition of the Soviet monument in Pardaugava, which has already been approved by the Latvian parliament and Rīga City Council, and which has sparked predictable outrage from the Russian Foreign Ministry and Embassy.

 

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