Or, welcome to my low-maintenance heck.
It would appear that the kind folks of Latvia have something of a problem. Reuters explains the situation thusly:
RIGA (Reuters) – Hundreds of youths destroyed police vehicles, smashed windows and looted stores in Latvia's capital Tuesday when an anti-government protest turned into a riot.
The violence, after a peaceful protest [Ed.:—How many times must I hear this canard?] by thousands calling for early elections in a country which last year had to seek a multi-billion economic rescue deal, was the worst seen since the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.
"There was a nice event and then when it finished people decided to go and express their anger and destroy the parliament and then it all spread through Old Riga," said Anna Gulbe, 19, referring to the picturesque historic part of the capital city.
Once police had control of the area around parliament, a large group of rioters began roaming through the city center, smashing storefronts and office windows with cobblestones dug up from the streets. Windows at the Finance Ministry and several other buildings were shattered.
This really is a tragic event—Riga is perhaps one of the most beautiful cities on the entire
planet, and the Latvians are, to an American tourist such as myself, some of the friendliest.
Of course, not being one to make such a statement without backing it up, I will now proceed to post some of my best photos from Riga below the fold, just to prove it to you. (And heavens no, I wouldn't even think
of doing this just to prove that Snapped Shot is a photo blog
! Besides, that contest is over already
... ;) )This first picture is the seat of the Latvian government, which is where the riot started (if I'm reading the Reuters report correctly).
Click on the picture to launch the slideshow. The rest will follow.
See? It really is that
beautiful!All photographs presented here are Copyright © 2006, Brian C. Ledbetter. Permission might be granted for the use thereof—It never hurts to ask!