Thousands join protest in Dome Square

An estimated 8,000 demonstrators—about half the number organizers had expected—converged Nov. 3 on the Dome Square in Old Rīga to call for change in Latvia’s government.

The meeting, the second large-scale protest in two weeks, was in response to recent controversial actions by the government of Prime Minister Aigars Kalvītis and the parliament. A number of well-known politicians, journalists and cultural workers attended the protest, according the media reports.

President Valdis Zatlers, whom opponents of the government have asked to dissolve parliament, made an appearance at the meeting. He encouraged citizens to become politically active.

The demonstration was advertised with a motto of “Par tiesisku Latviju! Par godīgu politiku!” (For a lawful Latvia! For honorable politics!”).

The protest continued the theme of what some observers have called the “umbrella revolution.” Where the Oct. 18 demonstration outside the Saeima building was marked by people protecting themselves from a steady rain, the Nov. 3 protest was dampened by a wet snowfall—which may have kept the number of protestors to less than expected.

Scene from Nov. 3 protest

Demonstrators carry umbrellas, and some hold up signs, during a Nov. 3 protest in Rīga against the Latvian government. (Photo by Arnis Gross)

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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