The Latvian Saeima approved a new law banning public events, meetings, marches and pickets on May 9, including holidays. The initiative was supported by 79 out of 100 MPs.
An exception will be made for Europe Day events. On May 9, 1950, the European Coal and Steel Community was established, which is considered the forerunner of the European Union.
According to Ieva Brantė, chairman of the Seimas Commission on Human Rights and Public Relations, May 9 is used by a certain part of society to glorify the totalitarian occupation regime. “It is in our interests to prevent events that are aimed at undermining our values, dividing society, glorifying military aggression and distorting the coverage of historical events,” she said.
The new law also prohibits the use of pyrotechnics from May 9 to 7:00 May 10. The law gives municipalities the right to revoke permits for public events on that day that were issued prior to its entry into force.
It was previously planned that, like last year, this holiday would be declared a day of remembrance for the victims and those killed in the war in Ukraine.
On May 9, 2022, the Latvian authorities allowed those who wish to bring flowers to the monument to the Liberators of Riga. They could not be laid on their own - only handed over to the police, who carried them to the monument. On May 10, the flowers were removed , and in August the monument was dismantled .