Vilnius Solidarity March: Expressing Support for Palestine
In Vilnius, more than a hundred individuals came together for a silent march, demonstrating their solidarity with the people of Palestine and their concerns over Israeli military actions in Gaza.
While the event initially drew opposition, it eventually attracted a diverse crowd, including foreign nationals and locals. Tensions arose during the gathering, driven by the presence of a former Israeli soldier, Danielius Lupshitzas, who engaged in heated discussions with Palestinian supporters.
The participants marched silently from Cathedral Square along Gedimino Avenue to V. Kudirkos Square by the Government Building, holding candles to honor the lives lost during Israeli attacks on Gaza.
Organizers defended the silence as a morally appropriate response to an ongoing humanitarian crisis, declaring that, “In the face of an ongoing genocide, only silence is morally acceptable.”
At the Government Building, the crowd chanted, “Stop the occupation, stop the genocide,” as speakers, including Andrius Mažeika, co-founder of “Palestina.lt,” highlighted the historical context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The event sparked discussions and debates, with some expressing concerns about alleged support for Hamas. However, the organizers aimed to convey their support for the Palestinian people.
The Lithuanian police maintained a significant presence to ensure public order. Fortunately, the event concluded without significant incidents, highlighting the complexity of these solidarity demonstrations, which can provoke strong emotions on both sides of the issue.