Riga, March 16, 2019 – a march honouring Waffen SS Latvian Legion veterans

A general view of the gathering participants
Leader of the co-ruling National Alliance party, Mr Raivis Dzintars, MP
Another participant of the march
Mr Aleksandrs Kiršteins, MP (National Alliance)
Another participant of the march
Co-operation of Waffen SS symphathizers from various countries
Specific political demands
Dr Guntis Kalme, a mainstream Lutheran priest, a professor of the Luther Academy
Mr Jānis Dombrava, MP (National Alliance)
Behind the big flag, left to right: Raivis Dzintars MP, Imants Parādnieks (Prime Minister’s advisor on demography, with a baby), Jānis Dombrava MP, Jānis Iesalnieks MP
Protesters – a two-times MP Mr Vladimir Buzajev (Владимир Бузаев), and a three-times MEP Ms Tatjana Ždanoka (Татьяна Жданок; both – Latvian Russian Union), the latter from a family decimated by the Holocaust

Photos – Dmitry Zhilin, 2019

Publisher’s note: the same year, the National Alliance tried to re-establish March the 16th as an official commemoration day. Link: https://eng.lsm.lv/article/politics/politics/national-alliance-repeats-march-16-memorial-request.a310737/ State-owned lsm.lv has reported on the march, but ignored what makes it exceptional – the participation of ruling politicians https://eng.lsm.lv/article/society/society/march-16-parade-takes-place-in-riga.a312922/ Canada has condemned the march https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/canada-condemns-annual-latvian-parade-that-honours-nazi-ss-unit

The same day, Parliament’s speaker Inara Murniece (NA), commemorating the day at a cemetery out of Riga, declares that legionnaires “did what their heart ordered them to – they defended Latvia” and that restoration of Latvia’s statehood became possible because of “legionnaires’ standards of values and their sacrifice”. Links in Russian https://rus.delfi.lv/news/daily/latvia/murniece-latvijskie-legionery-sdelali-to-chto-velelo-im-serdce.d?id=50913207 and in Latvian http://www.saeima.lv/lv/aktualitates/saeimas-zinas/27766-inara-murniece-latvijas-valstij-legionaru-sirdis-bija-noteicosa-vieta

More context: March 15 – the administrative court upholds the limitations imposed by the Riga city municipality upon a counter-rally appled for by the Latvian Anti-Nazi Committee (no limitations are imposed on the events honouring Waffen SS veterans) – forcing to protest at a distance and without sound enhancement. In its coverage, DELFI.lv (a mainstream media) puts anti-fascists in quotation marks https://rus.delfi.lv/news/daily/latvia/sud-ne-razreshil-antifashistam-protestovat-u-pamyatnika-svobody-16-marta.d?id=50910847 March 18 – Prime Minister Krisjanis Kariņš, who earlier advised politicians to visit cemeteries on March 16th instead of the march in the centre of the capital, avoids commenting on his advisor’s participation in the march https://rus.delfi.lv/news/daily/latvia/karinsh-uvernulsya-ot-ocenki-dejstvij-svoego-sovetnika-v-svyazi-s-16-marta.d?id=50915449

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