A “Black Lives Matter” solidarity rally to be held in Tallinn

A solidarity rally to show support to the protesters in the United States and express support to the minority communities who have encountered racism in Estonia, is due to take place on 10 June in Tallinn.

The solidarity rally, hosted by the Salliv Eesti/Tolerant Estonia citizen movement, will take place at 7 PM (EEST) on 10 June at a parking lot next to Saku Suurhall indoor arena in Tallinn’s Haabersti district.

“The purpose of the rally is to raise awareness of ethnically motivated differences in the treatment of people. Our intent is to show support to the protesters in the US, but even more so, to express our support to the minority communities in Estonia who encounter racism here. The rally is not limited as an act of solidarity to black people in Estonia, but to all different ethnicities that reside here and have encountered racism,” the organisers of the rally said in a statement. “Together we aim to show there are many people in Estonia who care and who do not accept the showcasing of racial prejudice.”

A car-based protest

Due to the coronavirus-related restrictions, public events that involve over 100 people are still not allowed and therefore, the protest will be car-based. However, people who are not able to attend by car are still welcome – the organising team will mark standing locations with two-metre (6.5-foot) distances, which are to be obeyed by all participants. “Our team will also organise the provision of disinfectants and some masks. However, we kindly ask participants to bring their own face masks if possible,” the organisers said.

The cars will be parked in the parking lots next to Saku Suurhall. “Traffic and parking will be organised by personnel on the spot, who can be identified by their yellow vests. Our advice is to get as many participants to attend by car as possible,” the organisers said. “All the people in a single car count as one unit within the parameters of the 2+2 rule. The moment a person in a car exits their vehicle, the 2+2 rule is applicable to them. We thus ask all people who choose to attend by car to remain in their seats for the duration of the rally.”

The cars will be parked in the parking lots next to Saku Suurhall (the large blue building in the middle). Photo by Mait Metsur, shared under CC BY-SA 4.0 licence.

A peaceful rally

The organising team said they had been in “constant communication” with the Estonian police – and the rally’s security team will stay in contact during the event. “We ask that all participants follow the guidelines currently set by the government and instructions given by security personnel on the spot. The ‘Black Lives Matter Tallinn’ rally is a peaceful rally. In case of provocations, we ask you to respond by calling over someone from the security team and removing yourself from any further participation in intentionally provocative conversations.”

The Black Lives Matter rallies have taken place across the US and Europe since the end of May – triggered by the tragic death of George Floyd, an African American man brutally murdered by a white police officer in Minneapolis.

Read also: Sten Hankewitz: Many Estonians don’t understand the tragedy of George Floyd because they’ve never experienced systemic racism.

Cover: The cover image of the Black Lives Matter Tallinn Facebook event page.

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