EKRE torchlight procession to be held later in evening on Independence Day

The 2019 event will be EKRE's sixth 24 February torchlight procession in a row.
The 2019 event will be EKRE's sixth 24 February torchlight procession in a row. Source: Sander Koit/ERR

While there had been a possibility that the torchlight procession organised by the Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE) on 24 February would have to be relocated due to another event already being registered with the police in Tallinn's Freedom Square that evening, the current plan is to still hold the event in the Tallinn square, only later than originally planned.

Ruuben Kaalep, head of EKRE youth arm Blue Awakening, said that the torchlight procession will be held at 20:00 EET, after a demonstration being organised in the same square by Maria Kaljuste ends. "That is Plan A right now," he told ERR on Friday, adding that he would be submitting a new application to the city government for the registration of the event.

The public event being organised by Ms Kaljuste, who was kicked out of EKRE in 2017 after being accused of damaging the party's reputation, has been registered with the police as taking place in from 17:00-20:00 on 24 February.

According to Mr Kaalep, the procession would begin at Freedom Square, then wind its way through Tallinn's Old Town, along Harju Street and through Town Hall Square, along Pikk Street all the way to Fat Margaret Tower before returning to Freedom Square via Uus, Vene and Viru Streets and along Pärnu Highway.

As a backup, EKRE board member Urmas Espenberg has also registered a public event that day at Tammsaare Park.

Some 5,000 people participated in last year's procession, Mr Kaalep said, adding that he hopes to see twice as many people this year. "If just a couple thousand more people come than last year, then that is an achievement already," he noted.

"The torchlight procession is meant for all Estonian nationalists and patriots that want to give thanks to our forebears that fought for our own country as well as show that these same nationalist causes are still honoured today," he said. "And our independence and freedom have to be defended the same way."


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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