On Friday afternoon, supporters of the coalition Conservative People's Party of Estonia (EKRE), many of them on the older side, gathered in Tartu's Raekoja plats (Town Hall Square) to protest against LGBT+ events being held at a youth center in Tartu. Young counterprotesters also arrived on the scene in support of the LGBT+ community.
Reporting from the scene, ERR's Tartu television news correspondent Henry-Laur Allik said that two groups had formed in Raekoja plats, each of which was around a hundred people or fewer in size.
"There are EKRE supporters, who are primarily on the older side, and there are just as many younger people there in support of the LGBT+ community," Allik said.
According to the correspondent, the protest has remained peaceful thus far; while there have been a few verbal exchanges between the two groups, none have turned physical. Police are also keeping an eye on what is going on in the central square.
EKRE MPs Ruuben Kaalep, Peeter Ernits and Anti Poolamets are all present at the protest. EKRE chairman and Minister of the Interior Mart Helme is likewise currently in Tartu, but said that he would not be participating in the protest because he was busy with work-related obligations.
Friday's protest was originally to take place outside of Lille Maja, a youth center located in Central Tartu, where an LGBT+ discussion event was scheduled to take place that evening.
The event, which attracted the attention of anti-LGBT+ protesters and even a threat to burn down the youth center, was relocated.
Editor: Aili Vahtla