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Russian community of Latvia angry at expulsion of Russian from schools

Photo of the Russian School Defense Staff. The banner says: "Russian schools are our Stalingrad" (meaning the battle of World War II)

Riga Mayor Nils Usakovs (The Accord Social Democratic Party) on his Facebook page called the actions of the Latvia’s President Raimonds Vējonis, who the previous day approved the Seimas’ decision on the final elimination of bilingual secondary schools of national minorities "a big mistake."

"Another very big mistake. And, unfortunately, an absolutely expected step by the president. Now the Constitutional Court is only left - in the near future, members of the Seimas from Accord Party will use their right and appeal to the court. At the same time, the work on introducing a program of additional lessons in the native language at the level of the Riga City Council continues. If the state is not able to protect the national minorities’ rights, we will do it at the level of local governments," Ushakovs promised. In turn, the European MP, co-chairman of the Russian Union of Latvia party, Miroslav Mitrofanov, said: "Raimonds Vējonis acted like a coward who betrayed his democratic ideals and philanthropy. He obeyed the dictates of political hooligans - radical nationalists. And it's worse than a crime - it's a mistake. Feeling his fear, they will continue wiping their feet both on democratic values and the institution of Latvia’s President as such."

The fact that the Latvian president’s decision, which approved the law on the final transfer of secondary schools of national minorities to the Latvian language, was not a surprise to anyone, confirmed activist Vladimir Linderman. According to him, on the issue of the elimination of education in Russian there is a full consensus between all parties of the ruling coalition, so there could be no other decision of the president. As Linderman told Mixnews.lv portal, for those who continue fighting for Russian schools, there is only one way - to increase the number of rallies and protest actions, and in the future to proceed to actions of civil disobedience. The probability that the Russians of Latvia will receive support from the EU, according to Linderman, is negligible, especially now when Russia and the West are in a state of a cold war. "As for Russia, it could provide support by imposing personal sanctions against sponsors of political parties that voted to destroy the Russian education. Most of these sponsors are somehow connected with Russian businesses. So, there is an opportunity to squeeze them, if there would be only political will, "Linderman said.

Journalist Alla Berezovskaya called on Russians of Latvia to go to a rally in Riga in defense of the Russian schools. "Friends! Fellow citizens! Parents! This is already the bottom! The president of Latvia just spat in our souls on Easter. We will never forget this and will not forgive! Get up people, this time everyone is coming out! Let's show the whole world that politicians are lying when they assure that the Russians are simply happy of the schools transferring to the Latvian language in education. We will show that we are absolutely against it! Hands off our children! We are going on Wednesday, April 4, at 5 p.m. from the Powder Tower to the presidential castle. We beat the alarm! There is no grace left to wait from authorities. Therefore, there must be a lot of us, very many - come all!" Berezovskaya writes in a social network.

Internet writer Irina Smorygo adds: "The rally, preferably, should be massive. If 500 people come instead of 5,000, it will look unconvincing. Therefore, please do not be lazy, come and bring your friends who do not read the news. Send SMS and WhatsApp messages to all your contacts like this: "On April 4, at 5:00 pm, a protest rally will take place (beginning at the Powder Tower and the march to the presidential palace, the Riga Castle) against the newly signed law on the Šadurskis reform. We, the parents, are outraged by the impudent actions of the authorities and the president. Come in person and let others know." Russians and Russian-speaking Latvia, disagreeing with the nationalists’ actions, will hand the president a "black mark". And then we will think how to express civil disobedience. They do not respect us, we do not respect them. And we need to think with the entire world how to give our children a quality education. We will not allow them to make our children morons, gender perverts or raise a Hitler Youth."

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