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2013 03 12

Vilnius mayor says Independence Day marches will be allowed on central street next year

Vilnius Mayor Artūras Zuokas says marches on Gedimino Avenue will be allowed on February 16 and March 11 next year, following an event in central Vilnius this year that took place without the municipal authorization but without major incidents.
Artūras Zuokas
Artūras Zuokas / Irmanto Gelūno / BNS nuotr.

Around 3,000 people marched through Gedimino Avenue on Monday despite the fact that Vilnius authorities had not issued permission to do so.

"I am very glad that this march was a far cry from those in 2008 and even last year. There were no offensive or hateful banners, people sang national songs and only individual provocateurs tried to chant "Lithuania for Lithuanians!". But other marchers or leaders disciplined them and drunk people or public order offenders were detained by the police," Zuokas told BNS on Tuesday.

"So we can definitely say that such a march could take place on Gedimino Avenue on February 16 or March 11 next year. I am glad that organizers and initiators start to differentiate between patriotism and chants that are incompatible with free citizenry of a free state," the Vilnius mayor said.

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