Lithuania’s Social Democratic Party (LSDP), now in power, issued a statement on 14 March concerning the March 11th neo-Nazi march on the central boulevard of the nation’s capital city, Vilnius. The following is an English translation of the statement, which contrasts somewhat in tone with that of the prime minister who is from the same party.
Nationalists Violating Principles of Democracy Can No Longer Use Democracy as Cover
14 March 2013
The unsanctioned march by nationalists that took place on Gedimino prospektas on the March 11th holiday tore away the veil of democracy from those who call themselves “patriotic youth.” Citizens who support democracy must pay heed to decisions made by democratic institutions, and ignoring such needs to be interpreted as anti-constitutional behavior.
Despite the march being called the free ambulation of free citizens through the city on a holiday, it was in point of fact a well organized march of several thousand people carrying signs and shouting pseudo-patriotic slogans. In photographs which appeared in the mass media, it was possible to see clearly inscriptions such as “White Power,” the name of a racist group in the United States calling for the murder of blacks.
March 11th is a holiday for all citizens of Lithuania without regard to any ethnic, racial or religious group to which they belong. A citizen’s respect for the Constitution, fellow citizens and the general welfare demonstrates that citizen’s patriotism.
We call upon the public to be vigilant and responsible in judging the actions of ultra-rightist forces, and not to deceive themselves regarding their words, for the world has experienced the nightmares they have caused more than once.
Heavy police forces called in not only failed to stop the unsanctioned march, but even escorted them, as if this had been sanctioned.
Lithuania’s Social Democrats severely condemn these expressions of ultra-nationalism and violations of the democratic process, and demand responsible action by law enforcement in investigating the events of March 11th and the actions of police.