Expectations build ahead of rally

  • 2007-11-02
  • By Mike Collier

RIGA -- Thirty security guards have been hired by human rights group Transparency International Latvia to work at a rally planned in Riga's Dome Square on Nov. 3.

The personnel from the Falck security company will be joined by around 60 volunteers, and two ambulances in an effort to ensure public order and safety.  


But far more important than the number of staff on hand will be the number of protestors who bother to show up. Around 5,000 people gathered for an anti-government protest on Oct. 18, but a subsequent protest called to dispute the government's budget proposals was much more muted with only a few hundred attendees.

However, those protests were both early-morning affairs on weekdays. Saturday's protest has the potential to be much larger given that it is scheduled to start at 11 am on a weekend. But failure to at least match the first demo's numbers could be taken by government as a sign that it has weathered the worst of public dissatisfaction.

It will come as some encouragement to the government that meteorologists are predicting a wet, cold Saturday.

Transparency International Latvia has also raised more than 8,000 lats (11,000 euros) to pay for a stage, speakers, portable toilets and a post-demo clean-up operation.