VILNIUS – Opponents of Covid-19 vaccines in Lithuania and Latvia are using the same symbols, such as the Star of David, in their protests, Viktorija Cmilyte-Nielsen, the speaker of the Seimas, has noted.
"What currently links Vilnius and Riga? It turns out [that this is] not only hybrid threats from Lukashenko, but also the use of the Star of David and other symbols in anti-vaccination protests," she posted on Facebook on Wednesday.
The speaker said she learned about this from her Latvian counterpart, Inara Murniece, after telling her about last week's protest rally outside the parliament in Vilnius.
"It makes you wonder how sincere the radical civic attitude of some initiators is and how much it is encouraged 'from the outside'," Cmilyte-Nielsen wrote.
"I have already mentioned before that, in my conversations with the leaders of the parliaments of several countries, I have heard that resistance against partnership laws in different parts of Europe was very, very similar. These scenarios are being repeated now."
"An illusion of threat is being created," Cmilyte-Nielsen wrote. "It is presented it in a fairly uniform way, and the same symbols are being used."
"They [symbols] are manipulated to encourage disgruntled people [to protest] – those who want change, but do not fully understand which company they can get into," the speaker wrote.
"Unfortunately, today's fatigue creates a very favorable environment for manipulating negative emotions," she added.
Last week, around 5,000 protesters held a rally outside the Seimas building to oppose the government's plans to impose certain restrictions for non-vaccinated people.
Some protesters held posters comparing Lithuanian government officials to Nazi German leaders and a number of participants used the Star of David as a symbol of discrimination against unvaccinated people.
The rally turned violent in the evening, with some protested blocking exits from the parliament and throwing bottles and flares at police officers. The police used teargas against protesters.
Eighteen officers were injured in the unrest.
Twenty-nine people were detained and a pre-trial investigation into the riot has been launched.