Wednesday, January 14, 2009
My blog will get a bit out of Estonia for a while since Riga is facing riots:
Baltic Business News:
An estimated 10,000 people have jammed into Riga's Dome Square tonight, and cheered loudly when Society for Different Politics Saeima deputy Artis Pabriks called on President Zatlers to dissolve Saeima. By now eight people have been injuried, LETA reports.
Periodically, the crowd chants: "Dissolve Saeima!"
Despite some side streets being totally jammed, people are still streaming into Old Town.
Police are out in great numbers as well, and ambulances are also at the scene just in case.
Security forces in military uniform are guarding the Saeima building nearby.
Clashes at the Saeima building in Old Town Riga tonight have counted a number of injured persons, including police officers.
The number of injuries is at eight at this time.
On nearby Smilsu Street, a Municipal Police car was turned over, and armed special forces have stepped back from the mob a bit toward Dome Square.
Several other police vehicles were demolished as well.
The rioting broke out as thousands of demonstrators dispersed after the mass protest rally on Dome Square. An angry mob moved toward the Saeime building and attempted to gain entry. Many windows were smashed.
Police and special forces used tear gas to thwart off the attack.
Police in Riga have declared an emergency situation in all of Riga, and are on high alert tonight as drunk and aggressive youths are still roaming the streets of Old Town.
Among other things, vandals have looted a "Rigas balzams" liquor store on Smilsu Street, not far from Saeima.
The Baltic Times:
Mass riots follow protest- Emergency declared
RIGA - What began as a calm 10,000 strong protest in Dome Square has turned into a riot. Following the peaceful demonstration, thousands of demonstrators mobbed the parliament building and have destroyed several police cars.
Protestors have also broken into a Balzams liquor store and are currently looting the general vicinity around the parliament.
Medics report that eight people have been injured so far, as rioting continues into the night.
A state of emergency has been declared by police as they report that drunk youths are still vandalizing the Old Town of Riga.
Early in the evening, a mob tried to break into the Parliament building by breaking windows and were held back with police tear gas.
With shouts of “Fire the Saeima” the protestors attempted to storm into the parliament building.
The rally earlier had been held to protest the Saeima and to demand the dissolution of its current members.
> What began as a protest was turned into vandalism of drunken and agressive youths...