This week sees a large number of events taking place dedicated to the Baltic Way, an extraordinary piece of non-violent resistance on August 23, 1989, that saw Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians join hands all the way from Vilnius to Tallinn via Rīga to call for the restoration of their independence, eng.lsm.lv reports.

The Latvian Institute got things underway with the release of a short film specially produced for the occasion, which you can watch above. It describes the Baltic Way as a "protest flashmob that happened in 1989", though the internet-era term seems a little inadequate to describe what was a massive popular protest that involved civil disobedience and the very real risk of serious reprisals.

It also makes reference to "Coelho's quote", an apparent reference to the Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho, before suggesting some other problems that might be addressed in the manner of the Baltic Way.

"The creative idea of the short film is based on the possibility to translate the word "Baltic way" as "Baltic style". The film encourages us to evaluate how the Baltic Way works today - in politics, in everyday life, in relationships and elsewhere. The peaceful and purposeful human chain, created by the people of Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania in a responsible and non-violent way, drew the world's attention to the situation in the Baltic States and solved the problem," said the Latvian Institute.

For a more detailed account of the Baltic Way, the Latvian Institute has also produced this excellent and informative fact sheet in English: https://www.latvia.eu/sites/default/files/media/li_bc30.pdf

In fact the inspiration of the Baltic Way does appear to have resonance in the modern world, 30 years on. In Hong Kong, a human chain inspired by the Baltic Way is reported to be planned later this week.

19.08.2019, Centenary