A mask is sexy: Teenager rallies against Toompea protesters

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Daniel, 17, at Toompea with his "A mask is sexy" sign. Source: ERR

For the last two weeks, crowds of protesters have gathered in Tallinn's Old Town to rally against the coronavirus restrictions.

This week they were joined by one more person - a teenager protesting against them.

Seventeen-year-old Daniel Kõiv attended protests on four days last week and sat on the ground with a homemade sign saying "A mask is sexy" for five hours each time. He spoke to ETV's current affairs show "Ringvaade" about his reasons for protesting.

"I care about Estonia, I care about the Estonian people, and I know how painful this coronavirus is, how hard it is to suffer from the coronavirus, and when I see people who don't believe it or who don't want to believe in it, I'm sad," Kõiv said.

The subject is particularly close to his heart because his whole family have had coronavirus and his 14-year-old sister had a particularly difficult time, spending several days in hospital after briefly losing consciousness and falling to the floor. She was later diagnosed with a blood clot. "It is quite scary to remember that," Kõiv said.

The teenager, who was voted Tallinn's student of the year 2020, has been able to protest for the past week after taking a break from school due to coronavirus related stress. He will return to the classroom in the autumn.

From time to time the protesters laugh at Kõiv, but he has not been put off.

Speaking about the protesters, he said: "It's confusing, and sometimes you don't understand what purpose they are serving here. It is middle-aged people blaming everyone else for their problems. Once there was a woman blaming Muslims, another time a young man who accused gay people and members of the LGBT+ community. Maybe it's time to look inside yourself and change yourself if you want to change the world."

Daniel Kõiv at a protest on Freedom Square on Sunday, April 11. Source: Priit Mürk/ERR

The protesters have been gathering at Toompea and in Freedom Square for the last two weeks to protest the extension of police powers which will allow them to issue fines to people not following social distancing rules of wearing masks.

Police have let the rallies take place and several people have been issued fines.

The original broadcast can be watched here in Estonian.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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