Gallery: Anti-migration compact protest held in Tallinn
The Smart and Healthy Estonia (Tark ja Terve Eesti) movement held a protest at Freedom Square on Sunday against the UN Global Compact for Migration and in support of the freedom of speech. At the same time, Estonia 200 convened at the adjacent Wabadus Café, promising an alternative to fearmongering politics.
Hundreds of people took part in Sunday afternoon's protests, reported ETV news broadcast Aktuaalne kaamera.
Protesters said that it was a sense of mission that got them to leave the house despite the poor weather on Sunday. One participant compared the atmosphere at the event to the protests against Soviet migration at the end of the 1980s. Some protesters, however, wanted to remain anonymous.
"This is not dependent on the weather," one protester said. "If you need to stand up for your country's sovereignty, it makes no difference — come at me with daggers even."
"One cannot chose their skin color, but they can choose the attitude to do something in one's home country to make it a better place to live, not come and take the benefits that someone else has established," said another.
Speakers at the protest also played old freedom songs.
Participants protested against both the migration compact as well as those political parties who supported it.
Organisers of the protest called on participants to join their movement. Styna Eerma, a representative of the nonprofit Smart and Healthy Estonia, said that their movement is fighting against foolishness in Estonia's foreign policy and for the preservation of sovereignty and the freedom of speech.
Eerma said that she is not against refugees who try to integrate into society in Estonia, learn the language and find work. "Let them come, let them do it," she said. "They do not qualify as refugees of convenience if they are prepared to work and pay taxes."
Speakers at the protest also criticised the Estonian government's migration-related decisions. Some also resorted to hate speech.
Smart and Healthy Estonia has also launched a petition demanding the resignation of President Kersti Kaljulaid.
"Having gotten involved in internal politics by actively supporting and pushing through the Marrakesh migration pact, Kersti Kaljulaid is directly undermining Estonia's constitutional order and the goals of the functioning of the state as outlined in the Constitution, thus committing treason," the petition states.
The main organiser of Sunday's protest was Maria Kaljuste, who was kicked out of the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) last year.
Alternative to fearmongering
At an Estonia 200 gathering dubbed "Positive alternative," the newcomer party promised to provide an alternative to fearmongering politics, and the board of the party also discussed its election programme.
Among the speakers that day was Ruslan Trochynsky, the lead singer of Svjata Vatra who recently joined the party.
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Editor: Aili Vahtla