EKRE: “Inappropriate” symbols not welcome at Independence Day torch parade (1)

Part of the repertoire: Sinine Äratus with torches at the French embassy, protesting the country's Mistral deal with Russia, November 2014 (Postimees/Scanpix)
BNS
2/23/2016 11:27 AM
Category: Politics

Sinine Äratus (Blue Awakening), the youth party of EKRE, has cautioned all people planning to attend their torch parade planned for Independence Day tomorrow Wednesday that placards, slogans and symbols not appropriate for the anniversary of the Republic of Estonia are not welcome.

Chairman of the Estonian Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) Mart Helme said to the Baltic News Service that the torch was a symbol of light and freedom, and that light and freedom were very much needed in the present difficult times. "At the parade we can show that we are proud of our Estonia. We can show that freedom and the right to decide ourselves about our lives are important to us,” Helme said.

Similar parades have been held for years in Latvia, Lithuania and Poland. In Warsaw, a parade organized by nationalists on Poland's Independence Day on 11 November last year was attended by 50,000 people.

The parade in the Old Town of Tallinn that will start at 7 p.m. on 24 February will also be attended by guests from nationalist youth organizations of Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland and Sweden.

Though torch parades were popular with youth organizations before the 1920s and 30s, they were a particularly common occurrence among the German National Socialist Party’s events and demonstrations. Tightly integrated into the symbolism of the new Germanic myths how especially the SS tried to popularize them, they’re often associated with Nazism and neo-Nazism today, movements EKRE has distanced itself from on several occasions.

Editor: Dario Cavegn

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