Police register several violations at anti-restrictions rallies

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Police vehicle. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

A demonstration took place in several Estonian cities on Saturday that caused traffic violations and congestion in places, the Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) communicated. The police have brought misdemeanor proceedings against one of the organizers.

The police brought misdemeanor proceedings against the man who organized the protest in Tallinn.

PPA operations chief Marko Ild said that the organizers did not notify the authorities of the demonstration or its planned route, while the police were aware of the meeting from social media.

"We contacted the event organizer and pointed out possible risks. Nevertheless, they did not ensure traffic safety. The organizer is responsible for the safety of people participating in the demonstration as well as those in its vicinity, which responsibility had not been taken this time," Ild said.

Misdemeanor proceedings were brought based on violation of public meetings requirements.

The police also registered several traffic infractions in Tallinn.

"Protesters closed two of the three lanes on Laagna tee. While other motorists could still use the third lane, traffic disruptions are unacceptable. The police reacted swiftly and talked to the man who was leading the column of vehicles. To put an end to the disruption, officers registered a violation, told the driver to appear at a police station and move on," Ild said.

The police brought more patrols to Tallinn in anticipation of the Sunday event.

Violations were also registered in Tartu and Pärnu.

Head of Song Festival Grounds condemns meeting

Around 100 people not wearing masks gathered in the Song Festival Grounds on Saturday afternoon. The police ordered the crowd to disperse and reminded people of coronavirus rules. The participants left after around 15 minutes, the PPA said.

Director of the Song Festival Grounds Urmo Saareoja condemned the gathering of protesters and said that the Song Festival venue is not the place for such meetings.

"People gather under the arch of the grounds to feel united, feel kindness and positive emotions. Not to sow strife and distrust. What took place was an act to ridicule the Estonian flag and anthem that had nothing to do with patriotism," he remarked.

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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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