Monday, 31 October 2011

Baltic Way

While researching about boundaries, borders and their existance in visible and invisible forms I remembered one event very much important to my home country Lithuania. In 1989 there was the protest across three Baltic states- people formed live human chain joining hands together across 600 kilometres- representing freedom, independance and tolerance between those countries and breaking all boundaries away. I thought it is beautiful and very emotional example. People until now remember this day will a  sorrow of an awful times and with a great proud of becoming independent soon after.

The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on August 23, 1989. Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometres (370 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Lithuanian SSR, republics of the Soviet Union. It marked the 50th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The pact and its secret protocols divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence and led to the occupation of the Baltic states in 1940. The protest was designed to draw global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence for each of the entities. It also illustrated solidarity among the three nations. It has been described as an effective publicity campaign, and an emotionally captivating and visually stunning scene. The event presented an opportunity for the Baltic activists to publicise the illegal Soviet occupation and position the question of Baltic independence not as a political matter, but as a moral issue. The Soviet authorities in Moscow responded to the event with intense rhetoric,[2] but failed to take any constructive actions that could bridge the widening gap between the Baltic states and the Soviet Union. Within six months of the protest, Lithuania became the first of the Republics of the Soviet Union to declare independence.

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