Walking for peace through the Baltic way! 🕊🚶🏻♂️🇪🇪 🇱🇻 🇱🇹 🤝
Extract from ERR news: ‘Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Baltic Way, when two million people held hands across Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to protest the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact which saw the Baltic states annexed into the Soviet Union in 1939.
The Baltic Way, also known as the Baltic Chain, took place on 23 Aug. 1989 and made headlines around the world. It was organised in just six weeks by the peoples' front parties in all three Baltic states (Rahvarinne in Estonia, Tautas Fronte in Latvia and Sajūdis in Lithuania) and saw people create an unbroken chain from Tallinn, through Riga, to Vilnius.
The date was no coincidence. On 23 Aug. 1939 an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, had been signed which stated Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania would forcibly become part of the Soviet Union. The Baltic Way was held on the 50th anniversary of its signing. It was a peaceful protest and aimed at highlighting the plight of the Baltic states.
Buses took people all along the line so the human chain could be formed, and people sung songs and waves flags. Then at 7 p.m., everyone held hands or linked arms for 15 minutes.
With two million people taking part across all three countries, the Soviet leadership in Moscow could no longer say that only an extremist minority were involved. It had become clear that it had broad appeal in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. With international media reporting on the chain, it thrust the situation in the Baltics into the public eye.
The Baltic Way is an example of when a peaceful protest has worked. It has gone on to inspire other protests around the world, most notably the Catalan Way which called for Catalonian independence from Spain and stretched for 400km in 2013. It has also inspired a human chain in Hong Kong which took place today.’
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