The traditional Fire way of the 23rd August

On the 23rd of August 1987, Latvian human rights group “Helsinki-86” did the unimaginable – they laid flowers in front of the Freedom monument of Latvia to remind the people about the criminal Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. This pact between the USSR and Nazi Germany, on August 23rd 1939, resulted in illegal occupation of the Baltic states by USSR. The commemoration escalated in wide protests against the Soviet occupation with at least ten thousand participants and an extremely violent reaction by Soviet militia. Raising awareness of communist crimes was very dangerous under the Soviet regime, not to mention open demonstrations.

On the 23rd of August 1989, more than two million Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians (~1/3 of the 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 to have ever occurred in the world. Today the Baltic Way is recognized as being the culmination of an awakening process in the Baltic states, which resulted in the collapse of the USSR.

On the 23rd of August 2013, the nationalists of the three Baltic states signed a declaration of cooperation and agreed to fight against the Russian imperialism and destruction of traditional and national values by extreme liberalism.

On the 23rd of August 2016, 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 communist regimes, and pointed out, that the crimes of these regimes must now be investigated.

Therefore on the 23rd of August, in front of the monument of Freedom, the Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian flags and maidens in folk costumes will stand together with Ukrainian and Polish representatives, thus commemorating the Baltic Way and showing the unity in spirit for the Intermarium region today and in the future. We will light a fire way of candles at 19:00 and sing along with inspiring musicians: the band “Vilki”, the bard Arnis Neretnieks and the young singer Anna Amanda Stolere.