Around 300 people took part in an unsanctioned march in Vilnius organized by Lithuanian nationalists to mark the centennial of restored statehood.
Around 300 people took part in an unsanctioned march in Vilnius organized by Lithuanian nationalists
© DELFI / Domantas Pipas

The march, advertised on Facebook, started at the Gate of Dawn in the capital's Old Town.

Most participants held torches in their hands and several carried national and historic flags. The nationalist slogan "Lithuania for Lithuanians" was printed on a tricolor flag pinned on the chest of a participant.

A municipal commission refused to sanction the nationalist march, saying that it would interfere with official centennial celebrations in downtown Vilnius.

Sakalas Gorodeckis, chairman of the Nationalist Union, said that he had not canceled the march so as to see "how democracy is working" in Lithuania.

He added that the union had appealed the local authority's refusal to sanction the march to a court.

Similar marches organized by nationalist youth organizations on various occasion in the past have drawn criticism over their nationalist slogans and banners.

Lithuania on Friday celebrates 100 years since the Council of Lithuania proclaimed the restoration of an independent state of Lithuania, founded on democratic principles, with Vilnius as its capital.

BNS
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