23.07.2008 List of actions of support of mother-tongue education initiated by member organizations and individual members of Russian School Defense Staff
The list includes 94 street actions, during 33 of which some of the participants got detained by the police and/or administrative cases were brought.
The list includes 33 actions with more than 1000 participants and 11 several-day actions.
April 1, 2003
At a press conference, the MP J.Pliner called to nonviolent protest against the school reform.
April 2 and 9, 2003
April 10, 2003
Students of Riga school No.17 and their parents picketed Riga Council.
April 12, 2003
At the Equal Rights Party’s conference the resolution titled “No to the destructive Reform-2004” was adopted.
April 16, 2003
The Parliament of Latvia rejected amendments to the Education law put forward by People’s Harmony Party.
April 22, 2003
Russian youth association of Latvia and the Coordination Council for public organizations initiated the creation of Russian School Defense Staff.
April 23 – May 22, 2003
Parental meetings in various schools of Latvia.
May 9, 2003
13000 signatures against the school reform were collected near the Monument to the Liberators of Riga.
May 12-22, 2003
Continuous informational action at the Station square in Riga (about 20000 signatures collected).
May 22, 2003
The Parliament of Latvia rejected amendments to the Education law suggested by “For Human Rights in United Latvia”.
May 23, 2003
About 15 000 people joined a mass demonstration titled “For free choice of education language” in Riga.
June 2, 2003
Russian-speaking youth handed over their petition to the Minister of Education (app. 200 participants).
June 7 and 11, 2003
Outdoor informational actions.
June 18, 2003
About 500 people took part in a procession from the Ministry of Education and Science to the Parliament and handed over the Memorandum to the representative office of the European Commission.
July 1, 2003
The MP J.Pliner made public a letter to the President that called for discussions on the school reform.
July 9, 2003
The Memorandum was passed to representatives of the embassies of Italy, Germany, and France.
Appropriate messages were sent to chairpersons of overseas parliaments and to ministers of foreign affairs of EU member countries and candidate countries.
Electronic messages were sent to members of the European Parliament, UNESCO officers, OSCE, PACE, CBSS, leaders of international human rights organizations (90 destinations in total).
August 14, 2003
Deputies from “For Human Rights in United Latvia” spread information about the point of the reform in 7 districts of Riga.
August 22-31, 2003
Deputied from “For Human Rights in United Latvia” spread information about the reform at the Station sqaure in Riga and near Riga Council.
August 29, 2003
Opening of political cartoon exhibition titled “Stick out your tongue at the reform”
September 2, 2003
Summing up of signature collection campaign: 107 000 signatures collected.
September 3, 2003
A set of Staff documents was handed over to the EU enlargement commissioner G.Verheugen.
September 4, 2003
Meeting between deputies from “For Human Rights in United Latvia” and their voters gathered up to 13000 participants in Riga.
September 6, 2003
Rock marathon “Russian rock for Russian school” (3000 visitors)
September 16, 2003
Parliamentary Commission for human rights rejected amendments to the Education law suggested “For Human Rights in United Latvia”.
September 18, 2003
About 200 people wearing Staff T-shirts walked through the centre of Riga past the Parliament, foreign representative offices, the Monument of Liberty, the Cabinet of Ministers, Riga Council, and the President’s Castle.
September 22-29, 2003
A group of high school and university students from Latvia visited Strasbourg.
September 24, 2003
The Minister of Education received the appeal with collected signatures.
September 25, 2003
“For Human Rights in United Latvia” called on the President to accept the appeal with collected signatures presented by a delegation of students.
September 2, 2003
The President received a student delegation.
October 5, 2003
About 100 people picketed the National Library during the CE Commissioner for human rights Alvaro Gil-Robles’s visit to Riga.
October 10-12, 2003
The activist group “Strasbourg” visited the Russian State Duma.
October 15, 2004
Demonstration (up tp 300 people) near the Parliament of Latvia referring to the 12th anniversary of apartheid in Latvia.
October 29, 2003
About 1000 people took part in a procession from the Ministry of Education and Science to the President’s Castle and burnt an effigy of the reform.
November 12, 2003
The Staff and activists of Cēsis school No.2 organized a press conference.
November 19, 2003
Picketing of the Ministry of Education and Science during the meeting between the Minister of education and the Chairperson of PACE Monitoring Committee J.Durrieu.
November 23, 2003
Parental meeting in Kalnciems.
November 27, 2003
Students of Riga school No.72 (up to 500 people) went on a demonstration in their school.
December 4, 2003
Parental and student meeting.
December 6, 2003
Meeting of Russian school teachers.
December 8, 2003
Latvian Association in support of schools with education in the Russian language demanded the democratization of the Consultative council at the Ministry of Education and Science.
December 9, 2003
About 50 students picketed School No.2 in Ventspils while the Head of Integration department of the Ministry of Education and Science E.Papule was visiting the school.
December 10, 2003
Up to 2000 people took part in the Human Rights Holiday. The video “Black Kārlis” was presented.
Experimental school strike in
Collection of signatures of solidarity with school No.32 in schools No.30 and 17 (400 signatures collected).
Picketing of the Parliament of Latvia (Saeima) on the day of consideration of amendments to the Education law in second reading (3-5 thousand participating)
Strike of 9
Action “Rock in support of Russian schools” in
Russian school strike in Ventspils (administrative penalty imposed on the activist Zelenkevich)
Picketing of Saeima on the day of consideration of amendments to the Education law in third reading (10-15 thousand participants gathered). Strikes in approximately 30
Mass demonstration near the President’s palace and march across the centre of the city against the amendments to the Education law. 15-30 thousand participated, including practically all
Russian school defenders meeting in
February 22, 2004
“Chess against reform” – chess tournament (50 participants)
Feruary 25, 2004
Meeting with the OSCE commissioner Rolf Ekeus at Riga secondary school No10
February 27, 2004
Action “Wall” near the embassies of the USA, France and Germany on the day of the amendments to the Education law coming into effect (2 000 participants). The deputy from “For Humna Rights in United Latvia” Ilga Oziša got twice fined.
Street survey on the issues of school reform was conducted in
1 000 delegates from 19 towns and localities joined all-Latvian Russian school defender meeting. Negotiation Group for negotiating with the government was formed.
The first Staff flash mob action. Each MP found a lemon labeled “Taste the reform” on their workplace.
The Parliament of Latvia ratified the “anti-Staff” amendments to the public gathering law, requiring municipality approval for voters’ meetings with their deputies.
Picketing of the building of the National Library during the visit of the PACE inspectors
Russian School Defense Staff meeting in Jelgava
The Parliament of Latvia rejected amendments to the Education law that had been put forward by “For Human Rights in United Latvia”. The amendments included moratorium on school reform and execution of the President’s suggestions to eliminate contradictions in the law.
Distribution of leaflets in the centre of
All-Latvian school strike. Most active participation in
6800 anti-reform signatures from 42 schools were handed over to the Minister of Education in
Demonstration without permission from the municipality occurred in
Procession from the Station square in
Another Staff flash mob – three students washed the windows in the Ministry of Education and Science in order to make them see the problems better.
Meeting without municipal permission was held in
Demonstration without municipal permission was held in
Demonstration without municipal permission occurred in Rēzekne.
Meetings of students’ parents
Procession without municipal permission was held in
Mass procession was held in
Meeting in Rēzekne (up to 500 participants)
Meeting and student marathon in
Meeting near the Monument to the Liberators of Riga, Joint Congress of Russian Community of Latvia registration, speeches by members of the Staff (50 000 participants during the day).
Joint session of the parliamentary National Security Commission and Internal Affairs Commission dealing with possible ways to fight against the Staff.
The Parliament of Latvia deprived the MP Buzayev of right of speech as he was trying to announce the details of the Security Police interrogations of members of the Staff. The MP refused to leave the room and got deprived of the right to be present at the next six sessions.
Picket near the Riga Council was held (30 participants) during the visit of European educational institution delegates.
Congress by “For Human Rights in United
Meeting titled “I speak Russian” (100 participants).
Parental conference in Ventspils
The Staff activist A.Kazakov sued the Prime Minister I.Emsis.
Letter from the youth organization of Latvian Social-democratic Labour party and the youth section of the Staff was written. It addressed the state leaders and contained a demand of moratorium on school reform and democratization of the Education law.
Picketing of the Baltic forum in Jūrmala. Student members of the Staff met politicians from Russia.
May 29, 2004
Student members of the Staff met the Mayor of Moscow Luzhkov.
500 signatures concerning moratorium on school reform were collected.
Street procession was held in
During its plenary session the Parliament of Latvia decided that the MPs Buzayev, Pliner and Tolmachov were subject to administrative prosecution for the organization of mass actions on April 15 and 16.
Picketing of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in support of E.Osipov (up to 50 participants)
All-Latvian meeting of the Joint Congress of the Russian Community of Latvia
Continuous round-the-clock agitation action opposite to the Cabinet of Ministers. As a result of the municipality’s refusal to approve the action, 4 administrative reports were drawn up. The MEP Tatyana Zhdanok was twice convicted.
Picket against suffrage deprivation of non-citizens (up to 100 participants)
Parental conference in Jelgava
Joint letter from Latvian and Russian public figures to state leaders containing demand for moratorium on school reform and the democratization of the Education law.
Open letter from the MP J.Pliner to state leaders with demand for moratorium on school reform and the democratization of the Education law.
July 5, 2004
Staff flash mob – 30 students wearing T-shirts with the Staff logo on them visited the Museum of occupation.
July 6, 2004
Open letter from 12 doctors and candidates of science with demand for moratorium on school reform and the democratization of the Education law.
July 8, 2004
Picketing of the police department in Liepāja in support of E.Osipov (up to 20 participants). Osipov got released under police supervision
July 13-16, 2004
Informational action at the Station sqaure (up to 2000 leaflets handed out within 3 hours)
July 14, 2004
Staff flash mob titled “The Insane Reform”.
July 17-25, 2004
Young Russian and Latvian activists visited Strasbourg for the opening of the European Parliament session. Action included picketing of the European parliament, press conference, meetings with MEP groups, party groups, and parliamentary officers.
July 19-23, 2004
Informational action at the Station square in Riga: installation of a clock that showed number of days left until school reform begins.
July 22, 2004
Staff flash mob – “Vaccination Against School Reform”
20 deputies from “For Human Rights in United Latvia” brought a suit against school reform to constitutional court.
July 22, 2004
Meeting against those Russian school principals who support the reform was held in Liepāja.
July 24-25, 2004
Anti-reform motor rally across Latgale (Jēkabpils, Rēzekne, Daugavpils, Ludza).
July 28 - August 4, 2004
Seminar for young activists on lake Raznas
August 5-20, 2004
Informational action at Station square in Riga
August 6, 2004
Staff flash mob titled “Fishing”
August 11, 2004
Staff flash mob titled “Scribbles”
August 13, 2004
Staff flash mob titled “Sieve”
August 14, 2004
Staff flash mob in Ventspils
August 18, 2004
Staff flash mob in Riga
August 19, 2004
Action “Racket vs. school reform” – table tennis tournament
August 23, 2004
Russian parents went on a hunger strike until September 12. Participants: I.Vatolin, V.Gailish, V.Dergunov, G.Kotov, Y.Kotov, P.Kuleshov, S.Petrov, L.Smirnova, S.Somova, M.Tyasin.
August 23 – September 3, 2004
Continuous round-the-clock action of protest
September 1, 2004
Action of protest near the Monument to the Liberators of Riga (up to 30 000 participants)
Procession across the centre of Riga without municipal permission.
Group of Staff activists (M.Tyasin, S.Petrov, E.Goncharov, A.Gamaleyev, Y.Vasilchenko, V.Dergunov, S.Saranchuk, V.Zharkovsky, O.Parmenenkov) chained themselves to the building of the Cabinet of Ministers. The activists were later judged and acquitted in the administrative court.
September 2-6, 2004
Active phase of school strike. Not all schools got covered, but entire classes were gone on strike in some schools.
September 3, 2004
Staff flash mob and procession to the Daugava river (about 200 participants)
The Staff activist Alexander Kazakov got detained by the Security Police and expelled from Latvia. Procession to the cabinet of Ministers and the Monistry of Internal Affairs in support of Kazakov was organized (about 100 participants)
September 6, 2004
Procession and picket without municipal permission near the Ministry of Internal Affairs: about 100 participants protested against the deportation of A.Kazakov
Pickets by students from 3 schools in Ventspils (about 50 participants, 16 detained by the police). Parents of the detained students got fined.
September 9, 2004
Picketing of the cabinet of Ministers against the deportation of A.Kazakov (about 100 participants)
September 12, 2004
Constituent session of the Joint Congress of the Russian Community of Latvia
October 2 – 9, 2004
Youth delegation visited Strasbourg, negotiations with the leaders of the European Council were held.
October 12, 2004
Meeting with the OSCE commissioner Rolf Ekeus happened without municipal permission. A petition was handed over to the commissioner.
October 13, 2004
Meeting near the Monument to the Liberators of Riga dedicated to the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Riga from fascists. Up to 1000 participants gathered. 40 000 leaflets were distributed in schools.
October 24, 2004
The necessity of restoration of school committees was discussed at the Staff activist meeting in Riga.
November 7-23, 2004
Staff hotline functioned.
November 9, 2004
Competition of essays on school reform among school and university students was announced.
November 10, 2004
Young Staff activists (N.Halyavin, O.Parmenenkov, S.Malashonok, K.Savchenko) met the head of parliamentary subcommission for integration A.Berzinsh.
November 15, 2004
Russian School Defense Staff spokesman Gennady Kotov took part in a meeting with the Council of Europe Commissioner for human rights Alvaro Gil-Robles in Riga.
November 18, 2004
About 100 activists wearing T-shirts with the words “Hands Off Russian Schools!” and bands with the word “Alien” on their heads went to the Monument of Liberty while the President, Prime Minister and a group of MPs were laying flowers to it.
November 20, 2004
Procession under the slogan “Hands Off Russian Schools” was organized in Liepāja (app. 100 people joined).
December 4, 2004
Republican parental session (about 450 participants)
December 11, 2004
About 4000 people joined the “Celebration of the Human”.
January 11, 2005
Circuit administrative court considered Yuriy Petropavlovsky’s appeal. Y.Petropavlovsky had been convicted by the court of first appearance of being the “Head of the Staff” – the leader of an “unregistered organization”. The case was won and dismissed.
January 11-15, 2005
Collection of signatures to be handed over to constitutional court demanding to consider 20 MPs’ lawsuit against the “school reform” in a public open trial. January 18 1726 signatures were passed to the court.
January 10 – February 23, 2005
School referendum. Collection of students’ signatures in support of free choice of education language. 6550 signatures were collected among students of 53 schools in 8 Latvian towns.
January 16, 2005
Summing up of the contest “Reform 2004: springboard or pit?” held by Russian School Defense Staff among high school students, involving 40 participants from 8 towns.
January 30, 2005
Student meeting involving 331 participants from Russian schools of Riga, Ventspils, Jūrmala, Liepāja, Jelgava, Olaine, Daugavpils, Rēzekne, Ludza, Aizkraukle. Appeals to Russian and Latvian youth, constitutional court and international organizations were adopted.
After receiving a report from Security police, Economy police seized 500 T-shirts with Russian School Defense Staff logo on. The T-shirts were meant for the student meeting.
February 10, 2005
The Parliament of Latvia (Saeima) rejected 20 MPs’ draft legislation concerning free choice of language of education.
2000 people participated in a march of protest and a picket in support of the draft. The picketers met the Minister of Education I.Druviete. 4 students and 2 adults were deatained by the police for the dissemination of calls for participation in the protest action permitted by Riga Council.
February 11, 2005
Press conference by Doctors of Pedagogy J.Pliner and V.Buhvalov and presentation of a research on detorioration in education quality as a result of the reform.
February 22-27, 2005
Russian students visited the European Parliament Intergroup session on school reform and massive non-citizenship in Latvia.
February 26, 2005
“For Human Rights in United Latvia” pre-election forum, registration of potential participants of Russian school defenders Congress, demonstration of Staff-related videos and presentation of results of school referendum. 1200 people were present.
February 27, 2005
Summing up of the reform 2004 expert evaluation contest organized by the Staff among teachers and administrations of schools of Latvia.
March 1, 2005
Anti-reform meeting in Liepāja involving 250 participants. Locked in schools, students willing to take part in the meeting had to jump out of the windows.
March 5, 2005
Humorous anti-reform event that gathered about 300 participants. Application for the event had been rejected as a call for overthrow of the political system. Suit against the municipality had been won the day before the event.
March 10-11, 2005
Installation of a “monument to reform” at the Station square in Riga.
March 12, 2005
Members of the Staff participated in a picket organized by the Joint Congress of Russian Community of Latvia and were calling to allow non-citizens vote in munucipal elections.
March 16, 2005
Members of the Staff participated in the protest action against the government-approved Nazis march, blocking their way. The police detained 35 people out of about 2000 participants, 27 of these got fined.
April 5, 12, 13, 16, 2005
Constitutional court considered 20 MPs’ suit about the consideration of school reform as contradicting the Constitution and Latvia’s international obligations.
April 17, 2005
402 delegates representing 22 organizations and 72 Russian schools from 14 towns of Latvia took part in the 2nd Russian school defenders Congress.
April 23, 2005
A bus with Staff activists (27 students and 8 accompanying adults, among which a Riga Council deputy and correspondents from two largest Russian-language newspapers) got stopped at the Estonian border. The activists were heading to Estonia in order to participate in a peaceful joint solidarity action with Estonian Russians. After had been held back at the checkpoint for 6 hours, the activists were sent back to Latvia on the pretext of lack of one safety hammer.
May 5, 2005
Members of the Staff together with the Joint Congress of Russian Community of Latvia (up to 500 people) participated in the official ceremony of laying flowers to the monument of Liberty on the day of 15th anniversary of the Declaration of independence of Latvia. T-shirts with the Staff logo, concentration camp prisoners’ outfits, balloons labeled “Alien”, and purple tulips tied with black mourning ribbons were used as alternative symbols. The police detained Alexander Gamaleev and Eduard Goncharov; minor physical injuries were caused by the police to the participants Alina (17) and Diana (16).
May 7, 2005
Picket on the day of G.Bush’s visit to Latvia.
May 9, 2005
Members of the Staff participated in the celebration of 60th anniversary of the Victory. Up to 200000 participants gathered in Riga, several thousand participants in Daugavpils, up to 1 000 participants in Rēzekne. One of the participants got beaten by neofascists.