“Protests” is a social democratic and green youth organization that was founded by progressive thinking young people at the end of the year 2018. It was registered as an official association on January 10th, 2019. We organize discussions, events, campaigns and also (as the name suggests) protests to demand action, attention and education about human rights, climate crisis, social and economic injustice and other topics.
Our first events happened in winter and spring of 2019. They were a discussion about sexual education, mental health and a protest to support the LGBTQIA+ community in Chechnya, Russia, which was facing oppressions from authorities. In collaboration with Fridays For Future we organized the very first climate march in Latvia on 15th of March 2019. We also continued to ask for political action in various events to prevent the climate crisis. These events gathered hundreds of young people and that only showed how important and necessary these events were. On 17th of March, 2019, the International day against homophobia and transphobia, we held a protest at the Parliament of Latvia to draw attention to the ongoing bigotry against LGBTQIA+ community in authorities and society in general. We were asking for legal justice and protection for same sex couples and their families. In August we were electing a new board and our Chairwoman Zane Pūpola was replaced by Selma Levrence who is still in this post.
In 2020 our activities were slowed down because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we still managed to do some activism in this time period. We actively participated in different climate activities both online and outside the Internet environment. On the 5th of June we organised a Black Lives Matter protest at the Monument of Freedom to support the racial injustice victims in the USA and to shed a light to the racism occurring here in Latvia. We managed to gather about 100 people.
In the summer with the help of other organizations we held all different kinds of events in Riga and at the border against Alexander Lukashenko and his authoritarian regime. Near the end of year 2020 we held a protest at the Embassy of Poland to support the Polish rights to abortion. With the help of some youth organizations we held protests at the Parliament to support the Civil union for same-sex couples petition.
In 2021 we didn’t rush because of the high death rate of the Covid-19 pandemic, but we still managed to participate in Veganuary where we showed how to live more in touch with the environment, in April we spread awareness about vaccine nationalism that has led to a huge percentage gap of vaccinated people between the high-income and low- and middle-income countries. When it was unclear about the investigation of a case of a man set on fire in Tukums (he previously was attacked in a homophobic matter) we organised a protest to support him and his family at the Cabinet of Ministers building.
Last summer we held a “Climate camp” where more than 30 young people took the opportunity to learn about different environmental and climate challenges, improved their activism skills and got to know each other, so that, in the future, they can work together to advocate for climate action. In the discussion festival “LAMPA” we participated with a discussion about the impact that cryptocurrencies have on the environment. Also, together with Belarusian, Polish and Ukrainian green youth organizations, we organized a camp in Kyiv about democracy and gender aspects in it.
We began year 2022 with a General Assembly in which Dainis Miglāns was elected the new chair of the organization. Finding it important to use every opportunity we have in the election year to make sure Latvia becomes more socially just, environmentally friendly and inclusive, we reached a cooperation agreement with the political party "Progresīvie", with which we share similar ideas. In February, however, Russia invaded Ukraine and this war marked the entire following year. At the beginning of the war, we held daily protests in front of the Russian embassy. Together with our partners from FYEG and "Progresīvie", we managed to expel Tatjana Ždanoka from the European Parliament’s Greens/EFA group for her pro-aggression statements. In March, together with Fridays For Future we co-organized a climate march, which was attended by over a hundred people. In June, we helped host the European Green Party Council meeting in Riga by holding a discussion on trans-inclusive feminism and organizing a political action on housing affordability. At the discussion festival LAMPA, we held an open conversation about topics we are often ashamed to talk about. We campaigned in the Saeima election, supporting our candidates and "Progresīvie". We also organized a project about what it means to be a 21st century Latvian.
At the beginning of 2023, the annual General Assembly was held and Marta Bogustova was elected the new chair of Protests.
“Protests” is led by a board and two board secretaries. Since the 15th of January 2022, the board consists of Marta Bogustova (chairperson), Klāvs Veseļuns (international secretary), Niks Derums, Anna Rebeka Roziņa, and Ričards Alans Miezītis. The board secretaries are Katrīna Kalnbērza and Kristiāna Bruce. The board secretaries work together with the board but these positions are also open to minors. “Protests” also has a safety team – Agnese Radziņa and Lūcija Pulka – and an auditor – Baiba Puisīte.
“Protests” consists of members and volunteers. A volunteer can be anyone who wants to participate in certain events. Volunteers are just as involved in the work of the organization as the members. After 3 months, if the volunteer wishes, they can become a member. Members have the right to vote in the Congress, where we elect the board and, if needed, change the highest documents of the association.
According to our statutes, our goals are: