Vilnius rally cancelled

  • 2009-02-02
  • TBT staff

VILNIUS-After the Vilnius municipalityrefused to sanction the non-parliamentary Front Party rally outside theparliament building on Feb. 3, the party decided to recall the protest.

The party's leaders said they would not beresponsible if people decide to gather and the meeting turned into unrest.

"I believe it is unprecedented case in Lithuania and the rest of Europe when the administration fears communication with people thusviolating the article of the Constitution on the right to peaceful gatherings.They are attempting to avoid the unavoidable, I mean the wave of socialprotests across Lithuania," the leader of the Front Party Algirdas Paleckis toldreporters at a news conference on Jan. 30.

He did not rule out that people may stillcrowd outside the parliament building on Tuesday.

Paleckis and another party member Audrius Butkevicius, said they would appear outsidethe Seimas around noon on Feb. 3 to see what happens.

State Security Department chief PovilasMalakauskas and Police Commissioner General Vizgirdas Telycenas noted that theparliament territory could be fenced in under a police request to the capitalcity's municipality.

"The police force is preparing for taking measures against anunsanctioned protest rally, if one should take place," said Telycenas.

A rally on Jan. 16 called near the Seimasbuilding in Vilnius ended in riots, which left civiliansand officers injured, parliament building windows broken and surrounding buildingsdamaged.