About us

“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.

History

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.

Structure

“Protests” is led by a board and two secretary-generals. Since the 3rd of July, 2021, the board consists of Selma Levrence (chairwoman), Anna Norvele, Baiba Puisīte, Niks Derums and Klāvs Veseļuns. The secretary-generals are Dainis Miglāns and Pablo. The position of secretary-general allows minors too to participate in the management of the organization. “Protests” also has a safety team and an auditor.

“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.

Goals

According to our statutes, our goals are:

  1. To involve young people in active civic participation, in particular in promoting environmental protection and economic justice.
  2. To protect the interests and rights of young people, to promote the implementation of youth initiatives.
  3. To promote young people's knowledge of political processes, social democratic and environmental values.
  4. To educate young people in a non-formal way about the possibilities for change in issues that are important to them.
  5. To gain experience and promote cooperation with related organizations in other countries.
  6. To promote democracy in Latvia.