for “LITHUANIA” without the quotation marks 2005-04-11

Press release
10th of April, 2005 launch of citizens movement
for “LITHUANIA” without the quotation marks

The idea for the movement developed from the community meeting “Uz Lietuva” (“For Lithuania”). During the meeting the attendees expressed unease about the degradation of public space within Vilnius, with particular focus paid to the demolition of a number of legendary cinemas, the swimming pool “Zalgiris”, and several public squares and parks in Vilnius.

General consternation was expressed at the state of civic silence when such landmark sites as Vokieciu Street and Lukiskiu Square are under the threat of being transformed into entirely commercial zones of the city. The painful question was raised; “what kind of cinema will be able to watch in a year?” As, the only screens presenting non-commercial and European films, Cinema Lietuva and Cinema Skalvija, are being privatized and turned into super-markets.

During the “Uz Lietuva” (“For Lithuania”) meeting many people voiced their opinions about the destruction of public space, collective heritage, and the attendant violation of civic rights and laws of municipal governance. Spontaneously, this non-formal citizens movement was born. Its aims are to stand up for the rights of city-dwellers to free-access to public space, and to resist such destructive policies as the bulldozing of architectural icons and park zones. The leaders of the movement need the support of all citizens in respect to actions and protest events they intend to organize.


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