Oprah’s speech and barricades in Riga.

 

 

A new day is on the horizon!

Oprah’s Golden Globe 75 speech made me feel as oxytocinated as back then in the stinging cold as polar bears picknic January 1991 when I was warming up next to a bonfire in the barricaded streets of Riga.

Me and my classmates, studying in Riga were instructed to leave our student home immediately and travel home.

Armed Soviet troops and vehicles were seen in the streets of Riga.
Large combat group of KGB was exposed close to the city.

OMON units and KGB forces had taken over the Press House and had been trying to provoke violence and seize power in Latvia since the end of 1990.

Things escalated when the Soviet military attacked our neighbours in Lithuania and killed 13 civilians.

On January 13, after the attacks by OMON (Special Purpose (Riot) Police Unit) the independence movement “Popular Front” announced nationwide demonstrations in support of Latvia’s lawfully elected government and build barricades to protect some strategic buildings.

Soviet helicopters were dropping leaflets with warnings over the crowd in hope people will give into fear and give up.

I rushed into trolleybus to get on the other side of the river to train station.

I was shocked seeing all the agricultural, construction vehicles and trucks full of logs everywhere.
Large concrete blocks, walls, wire obstacles and other materials have been placed on the streets and in front of buildings as nonviolent resistance.

People had arrived from all over the country.
Families with children, elderly people.
So many people!

Somebody softly slapped me on the shoulder.
I turned around and to my surprise, a guy filled my hands with hazelnuts.
And before I could say a word he disappeared in the crowd.

Speechless and overwhelmed by this kindness, which was so unusual to receive from a complete stranger, I didn’t worry any longer that I lost my train.

The atmosphere was incredible.

I didn’t know anyone but felt safe as never ever before.

We were together in this.
No one was a stranger.

It felt so badass – for the first time, people weren’t obeying the suppressing powers.
I was euphoric.

We were aware that the Soviet forces could easily smash us all.

But no one really cared.

We all were ready to form a human shield if it was needed.

All we saw was the new day on the horizon.

And now we are again in the midst of radical changes.
People are connecting worldwide.

I am feeling euphoric and badass and deeply emotional because as Oprah concludes:

“…when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women,(…), and some pretty phenomenal men, fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say “Me too” again.”

What a historic times we are experiencing.
Huge ones.

 

 

 

 

 

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