Lithuania marks 30yrs since 1st unsanctioned rally of Soviet period
Lithuania marks on Wednesday the 30th anniversary of the first unsanctioned public rally of the Soviet period that took place near the monument to poet Adomas Mickevičius (Adam Mickiewicz) in Vilnius in 1987.
"A rally was held on August 23, 1987 at the Mickevičius monument in Vilnius to mark the 48th anniversary of the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop secret protocols. It was the first rally unsanctioned by the Soviet authorities during the entire Soviet occupation period and the first public anti-Soviet demonstration after the Spring of Kaunas in 1972," Lietuvos Sąjūdis (Lithuanian Movement), the organizer of the commemoration program, said.
"The August 23 rally marked the symbolic start of a new epoch and of Lithuania's road to Sąjūdis and Independence," it said.
The program includes a conference on The Consequences of the Soviet-Nazi Pact for the 21st Century hosted by the Martynas Mažvydas National Library of Lithuania in Vilnius and a rally at the Mickevičius moment in the capital in the evening.
Lithuania also marks on Wednesday the Day of Black Ribbon and Baltic Way.
On August 23, 1989, around 2 million in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia joined hands in a 650-kilometer-long human chain stretching from Tallinn to Vilnius to mark 50 years since the signing of the German-Soviet Non-aggression Pact, known as the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, and secret protocols that divided Eastern Europe into German and Soviet spheres of influence.