More than a thousand people gathered for a rally in defense of Russian schools in Latvia
RIGA, February 24. /Offset. TASS Maria Ivanova/. Over a thousand people gathered on Saturday in one of the Central parks of Riga to protest against the transfer of schools of national minorities to the Latvian language of training. The protest is timed to the 229 anniversary of the opening of the first Russian schools of Latvia, reports from the scene the correspondent of TASS.
In the hands of the protestors posters with inscriptions “Russian children — Russian school”, “Reform — forced assimilation”, “I Want to learn in their native language”, “Reform — nonsense. Reform — no, to Each Russophobia strong in the coffin”, “we are not Slaves. Slaves are dumb”, “Children will not give up”. The audience also chanted “Hands off Russian schools” and “Russian — native, Latvian — second”.
Among the participants — activists of the staff of protection of Russian schools, the party “Russian Union of Latvia” (STGS), the Latvian Committee on human rights, the Russian community of Latvia, the Latvian anti-Nazi Committee, as well as members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Tatyana Zhdanok and Andrey Mamykin.
“Our event is held under the slogan “Russian school!”, as told to Catherine the Great, 229 years ago, signed a decree about the Foundation here of the first Russian secular schools. We now not only demand that the Latvian authorities take hold of the mind and to stop the reform in Russian schools in the country, but we also appeal to the international community, which is visible and noticeable interest in what is happening in the country. We are gathering signatures on a petition of inhabitants of Latvia in different international structures who intend to transfer to the European Commission, UNESCO, PACE and the UN, asking to call the Latvian authorities to respect human rights in respect of minorities,” — said the correspondent of TASS the representative of the Staff of protection of Russian schools and co-chair of RSL Miroslav Mitrofanov.
According to him, the purpose of the event is to protest against the intention of the ruling parties and the government to curtail Russian education in Latvia. “The peculiarity of our today’s meeting is that it involved people who could not participate in our previous protest rallies on working days,” he said.