23 Aug: When The Baltics Held Hands

A colossal human chain, stretching 430 miles, spanned across Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania on 23rd August, 1989 – the anniversary of the Molotov Ribbentrop Pact that covertly carved up the region fifty years earlier.

Around two million people held hands for 15 minutes, synchronised at 7pm and photographed from helicopters above. Organised by Rahvarinne of Estonia, the Tautas fronte of Latvia, and Sąjūdis of Lithuania, the event drew global attention to the three nations’ desire for independence. 

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly consider the Soviet authorities’ response to this pacifist protest; explain how the participants were placed across the route; and reveal just how to make your own miracle in Vilnius’ Cathedral Square Plaza…

Further Reading:

• ‘30 Years Ago: How A Photographer Captured The ‘Baltic Chain’ From Above’ (Radio Free Europe, 2019): https://www.rferl.org/a/how-a-photographer-captured-the-1989-baltic-way-protest-from-above/30119472.html

• ‘BALTIC STATES LINK IN PROTEST ‘SO OUR CHILDREN CAN BE FREE’’ (The Washington Post, 1989): https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/1989/08/24/baltic-states-link-in-protest-so-our-children-can-be-free/5a016f3d-35d0-4a7e-ab75-916c8c05eb0d/

• ‘Baltic Way: 30 years since the 600-km human chain that helped trigger the collapse of communism’ (EuroNews, 2019):

#80s #Protest #Russia #Politics #WW2