August in Latvia was full of events and activities, with the nationalism sphere not being an exception.
The beginning of August marked a very dangerous tendency for Latvia – statistics show, that more and more Latvians are watching the Russian TV channels. Although most of them do it for entertainment purposes, we have to remember, that propaganda is not only hidden in news, but also on the TV shows, series etc. Very frustrating is the fact that some Russian TV channels are included for free in automatic TV channel packet offered by the 51% state owned telecommunication company Lattelecom and that customers are not able refuse this portion of their TV service! To illustrate, how dangerous is this, let me just mention, that, for instance, channel “Rossija 24” seriously reports, that Latvia is building concentration camps to imprison local Russians. The problem with media space in Latvia is huge and growing. This problem will certainly be one of the biggest challenges for politicians in the future. Hopefully, this will be solved naturally by the younger generation of Latvians who simply will not know Russian language (unless they learned it from these terrible TV channels…).
On August 2nd Latvian government confirmed the concept for restoration and widening of the Big Open-Air stage in Mežaparks, Rīga, where Song festival traditionally is held. After the re-construction is finished, eleven thousand singers will be able to perform simultaneously and there will also be additional seating for members of the audience. Anyone, who wants to experience unforgettable and divine artistic enjoyment in a very traditional and classical way and is prepared to suffer the harsh competition for tickets, is kindly welcomed to visit Song and Dance festival of Centenary of Latvia in July 2018. This awesome tradition gathers people from all the regions of the country and the Latvian Diaspora abroad. It basically drives phenomenally wide Latvian choir and folk dance movement. This event has been proclaimed by UNESCO as Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.
Before the very promising break at the end of this month (further in text) the National Alliance held the annual summer camp in the beginning of August which included many interesting lectures, sport activities, meditations and challenges. The participants included the Parliament speaker Ināra Mūrniece, an authoritative lawyer, who was one of the Latvian Independence restoration declaration authors and maintainer of the state continuity idea and also was the National Alliance candidate for the State presidential position, Egils Levits, additionally the national conservative philosopher Maija Kūle spoke, along with military, ideological and prominent political experts.
In the middle of August thousands of Latvian and European Catholic pilgrims gathered in the annual Feast of Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Aglona, Latgale. This annual event usually gets ridiculed by liberals, but still many people choose to take part by walking on foot along the path to Aglona where they get a chance to listen the holy mass. The awesome sermons of Aglona bishop Jānis Buls contain powerful messages, which receive wide attention from our people. Let me quote: “…we give thanks to God for our land, for our country Latvia, for our language, for our folk traditions, for Christian traditions, for the Christian faith, for freedom, which we have repeatedly gained and defended in many difficult fights. Let us thank the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Aglona, that our people have always felt her shelter and protection now and in the future. With faith in God let us see the future with certainty and hope, thinking of future generations and the Christian heritage, which we are going to preserve.” It would seem that these great words (and hopefully also the common meditation/prayer for Latvia in NA summer camp) resulted in the following events.
August emerged as a month of defeats of hegemony of ultra-liberalism in public opinions. Several well deserved failures seem to have caused the destruction of their own sandcastle.
Firstly, was the unimaginably foolish refugee support campaign simultaneously introduced in all three Baltic States by UNHCR. In Latvia its motto was: „We would do the same” with slogan „We would flee, too”. This campaign received a lot of negative attention from people, including indignation for its leader, UNHCR adviser anarchist-communist Didzis Melbiksis, infamous for disgracing the Latvian flag and the Freedom monument. The Latvian Defense ministry claimed, that this campaign is offensive towards many Latvian citizens, who serve in Armed forces. National Alliance pointed out the conflict this message has with Latvian law, which prohibits Latvian citizens from surrendering to military intervention without resisting, and requested from UNHCR information about the origins of funding for this scandalous campaign and its beneficiaries here in Latvia.
There have also been publicly expressed concerns, that statistics about so called positive Latvian attitude for taking refugees in used in this campaign are false, because none of the other polls about this issue have ever showed a similar result. The campaign representatives have not been able to disprove these concerns.
As well, the girl, whose photos were used in this campaign, published a heart-breaking blog entry, which shows the brutal backstage of this campaign by these „morally superior humanists” – she had to answer questions like „do you want these people to die”, and her NO was enough to use her face in „welcoming” photos. Neither had she known that her huge size photos with text „I would do the same” will be displayed throughout all of Rīga. Of course, no one asked her detailed opinion about the complex problem of immigration in general. As a result of these experiences, the problems with her health condition have begun.
This campaign, which obviously cost a lot, because of transmission on TV and in the mass media as well as the outdoor advertising in all the public transport stops, will have to be cancelled, at least partly.
As for the second failure, it could be mentioned the illumination of media manipulation, when two covers of the printed press had two different refugee families on them, but – oops! – obviously, the same daughter. Their excuses did not sound very convincing. Seems, that they had not listened well to the lecture of Didzis Melbiksis about reporting the refugee issues, in which one of the points warned to be careful with the pictures.
Recent political party ratings showed, that the support for the welcoming/liberal party “Vienotība” (“Unity”) has dropped to the lowest point in their history and, if elections were held today, their support would not be enough to overcome the 5% barrier, which the Latvian election system has set in order to get seats in the parliament.
All these happenings came at the same time that news containing details about the financial involvement of George Soros, related to his mass immigration campaign for Europe, were finally published in Latvia.
Consequently, at the end of August a social anthropologist and former education minister Roberts Ķīlis, an authority in the liberal camp (until now) and known for his very very very liberal views, came out with an announcement, that such terms as multiculturalism and integration cannot exist anymore and “openness to anything” just simply does not work; the anti-establishment mood among Europeans just shows that the need for change is huge. He gave a really good and logical interview, intelligently discussing ideological matters in today’s Europe in a way, that no national conservative person could object to. Let us see, if he will have followers in liberal camp or will receive tomatoes and rotten eggs from his former confederates. Anyway, the Latvian nation is happy about the return of the prodigal son!
Quite interesting happening occurred in the middle of August, when former rector of University of Latvia Ivars Lācis became the second well known person to admit his cooperation with KGB during the Soviet occupation. He emphasized, that he had never denounced anyone, though. As it is known, the process of so called lustration has never happened in Latvia. Information about KGB agents is secret… But currently the historical commission works on scientific research, which will be released together with information from so called “KGB bags”. The question of lustration is much more complicated than it sounds because of the several reasons: 1) not all of the entire information remains in Latvia, because part of the documents were returned to Russia by chekists after Latvia regained its Independence – of course, this could be the most important part of them; 2) the agent cards contain not enough information to reveal the depth of ties with KGB – it was really easy to push people to sign some paper with different psychological tricks, so it is hard to know, who was really a “bad guy” and who – just “unlucky guy”, KGB used to make people feel “captured” without giving really bad tasks, and having a card on one’s name in KGB files still does not say, that the one is ideological chekist; 3) of course, there is huge pressure not to open so called “KGB bags”.
In 17th August reacting to the news on several attacks to Latvian freight forwarders in the Calais region, the MPs from the National Alliance appealed to the representatives of the embassy of France in Latvia with the request to secure the rights and safety for all Latvian citizens in this region as soon as possible.
On 21st of August, Latvians commemorated the day, when the constitutional Law On the Statehood of the Republic of Latvia was confirmed in 1991. In brief, it can be described as the day of regaining de facto independence, because it restores the Latvian constitution of 1922 and divides Latvian legal space from USSR legal space. The law was confirmed during the coup attempt in Moscow, when Soviets tried to restore their lost power. Parliamentarians knew, that Russian specnaz tanks were approaching our Parliament building after they had already taken over Latvian TV, Radio, telephone centers and the Ministry of the Interior. Only 13 openly pro-Kremlin parliamentarians voted against this legislation. Many people rushed from countryside to Rīga on this day in case the construction of new barricades would become necessary. Latvians are still very grateful to Iceland, which was the first country to recognize the independent state of Latvia shortly after confirming of this law, and this brave diplomatic step is still mentioned in all the historical materials and speeches regarding the restoration of Latvian state.
On 23rd of August the ministers of justice of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Romania, in their joint statement, criticized nations which still celebrate their communist histories and the offenses committed by communistic regimes. The ministers of the five countries voiced concern that some countries for praising the Soviet Union and its leaders on an official level, and pointed out, that the crimes of communistic regime must now be investigated.
This year on 23rd of August in Rīga the Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian flags and maidens stood together with Ukrainian and Polish representatives in front of the monument of Freedom in Riga, thus commemorating the Baltic way and showing the unity in spirit for the Intermarium region today and in the future. On 23rd of August 1989 more than two million citizens of Latvian, Lithuanians and Estonians (~1/3 of entire Baltic population) made a human chain from Tallinn all the way to Vilnius to demand Independence for their countries. This is one of the biggest and most impressive political manifestations, which has ever occurred in the world, and today is recognized as being the culmination of an Awakening process in the Baltic states, which already had begun few years earlier and resulted in the collapse of USSR. The 23rd of August was chosen for Baltic way to remind about the criminal Molotov – Ribbentrop Pact of August 23, 1939, which resulted in illegal occupation of the Baltic states by USSR. This year, also a conference regarding the future of Intermarium region was organized in Rīga on 23rd of August.
On 27th August the big annual get-together of politically repressed persons took place in Ikšķile, gathering several thousands of people. At these events the most active of politically repressed persons gather together which gives them an opportunity to once again meet their colleagues, many of whom now reside in a wide variety of locations, and also to enjoy some entertainment as well.
To finish, I would like to mention the upcoming opening of the theatre season in Latvia and the premiere of a play „Pakļaušanās” („Submission”) by outstanding Latvian producer Alvis Hermanis in Jaunais Rīgas teātris („New Riga theatre”). The premiere will only take place in September 9th, however this play has already caught some attention. As it is known, Alvis Hermanis, who was previously big authority among wanna-be and true intellectuals in Latvia and also really popular in theatres all across Europe, lost this status during just one night after expressing his argumentative negative opinion about European politicians’ attitude to immigration problem and multiculturalism. Suddenly his achievements and highly valued masterpieces he had created before did not mean anything, and his former admirers from liberal community turned against him with disgraceful campaign of rude and undeserved ironical insults. As well, he was jeered in Paris during the premiere of an opera that he had recently produced. Still, during the season his theatre in Rīga continues to be crowded every evening, as is also evidenced by the fact that it is difficult to buy tickets, because the Latvian people love him – now even more. This new play was inspired from the futuristic novel by famous French writer Michel Houellebecq, and is about France in 2022, when political power is taken over by Muslims. According to Alvis Hermanis: “The Western society is in the pit and continues to dig diligently. Our show is a tribute to all the diggers.” More about this play in September after watching it. As everyone knows, Rīga is renown for its widely available high art of excellent quality, so everyone can come and view this performance, however, in order to obtain good seats, it is necessary to buy tickets quite a while in advance.