Estonia: government party attacks LGBT community
Estonia's LGBT community has been the target of attacks in the city of Pärnu in recent weeks. First people attending the screening of a film were insulted and filmed and then an LGBT outreach event was disrupted. The local branch of the far-right Ekre party, which forms part of the goverment in Tallinn, organised the demonstrations. Estonian media are deeply concerned.
A highly dangerous party
The local edition of Postimees for the Estonian city of Pärnu is appalled:
“Can a party that systematically and methodically attacks a small minority be allowed to be part of the Estonian government? This is a question for Prime Minister Jüri Ratas. Should the mobbers be on Pärnu's city council? That is the question for the inhabitants of the city on whose votes the members of the council depend. This newspaper believes that no ideology can justify such bullying. The police take a similar view. The editors consider this to be a dangerous sign: Today the LGBT community is the target, tomorrow it could be other social groups.”
We need civil society!
An online petition aimed at blocking an Estonian LGBT club from receiving any more funding is currently online. The country's interior and finance ministers, both from Ekre, back the initiative. Activist Alari Rammo does not think much of the petition in Eesti Päevaleht:
“Civil society has two visible functions: it represents certain interests and provides certain services. It makes no difference to the market whether the state buys the service from a company or non-profit association. ... The state needs the voices of various interest organisations to make better policies and thereby counterbalance business interests or ill-conceived election promises. Active citizens and their organisations are part of the separation of powers that seeks to prevent governments from misusing their power against the weak.”