A Black Lives Matter solidarity rally took place in the parking lot of Saku Suurhall in Tallinn on Wednesday evening. Many participants took part in their cars to follow coronavirus social distancing rules.
Supporters made banners and placards to show support for the anti-racism Black Lives Matter cause. The demonstration started at 7 p.m. and was organized by the Tolerant Estonia (Salliv Eesti) NGO.
The organizers wrote on Facebook: "The purpose of the rally is to raise awareness of ethnically motivated differences in the treatment of people.
"Our intent is to show support for the protesters in the US, but even more so, to express our support to the minority communities in Estonia, who have to encounter racism here.
"The rally is not limited as an act of solidarity to black people in Estonia, but to all different ethnicities that reside here and have encountered racism.
"Together we aim to show that there are many people in Estonia, who care and who do not accept the showcasing of racial prejudice."
Coronavirus mitigation measures limit the number of people at public gatherings to 100 but by attending in a car this rule was not broken. Some people also attended on foot but kept two meters distance.
Jesus, one of the demonstrators at the solidarity rally, told ETV's "Aktuaalne kaamera" (AK): "I am black. I am a black Brazilian, and I feel that we need to show people that this is wrong and we need to show our support. I think that people in Estonia seem to think that racism is a problem in America and they should know that it is here too. There are people facing it here too. So let's show people that it really exists."
Eliise, an Estonian at the protest, explained to AK why she attended: "I feel that it is my civic duty to be here and show that we do not agree with hatred. /.../ I think that maybe in Estonian society, we should also show that we are interested in these topics and we cannot hide everything under this rug and think that we do not have it [racism]. We have it too."
The latest wave of anti-racism protests began in the USA a few weeks ago in Minneapolis where unarmed black man George Floyd died after a white policeman kept his knee on Floyd's kneck for nearly nine minutes.
Editor: Helen Wright