Tuesday, February 12, 2019

From Paris to Riga to where else?

Image result for yellow vests images
Over the last two months, we’ve seen the so called “yellow vest” riots underway in France.  It’s become so routine that the media is grown tired of reporting it, or maybe they don’t like to tell us how citizens are reacting to tax increases over climate change.
Over the weekend, I saw this.  It looks like the vests have some imitators in Riga, Latvia, according to this AP report:    
Earlier Saturday, activists in Latvia staged a picket in front of the French embassy in Riga, the capital of the small Baltic EU country, to support the yellow vest movement and urge Latvians to demand higher living standards.
The activists waved Latvia’s red-and-white flag, shouting slogans like “the French have woken up, while Latvians remain asleep.”
Very interesting. This story also reminds me of a conversation that I had a few weeks ago with a new student from Latvia attending a local community college.   
After some small talk, I asked how everything was doing in Latvia.  I was not looking for a political chat but rather just general information about that small country that was once part of the USSR.  To be honest, we don’t hear that much about Latvia, unless there is a potential NBA player from that region.
The student unloaded with a long attack on the EU.  He said everything, from “they are telling us how to live from toothbrushes to mouthwash” to “governing us without our consent”.
Then I asked about his countrymen’s attitudes about the EU.   He said “We hate them”.
Well, I can’t say that this person is representative of any movement.   At the same time, there are now “yellow vests” in Riga.  
So maybe the student was telling me of a movement about to explode beyond Paris.  I’ll keep my eye on “yellow vests” who speak more than French!
P.S.  You can listen to my show (Canto Talk) and follow me on Twitter.

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