Tarand manhandled at EKRE protest

MEP Indrek Tarand, who has promised to run in the election list of the Social Democrat Party (SDE) in March, found himself in a tussle at a Conservative People’s Party (EKRE) protest meeting in front of the Riigikogu building yesterday.

EKRE scheduled the protest to take place at the same time the Riigikogu was to vote on a declaration in support of the UN global compact on migration.

“If you do not want hundreds of thousands of refugees to come here, vote SDE!” Tarand, who had elbowed his way onto the stage, managed to shout into the microphone before EKRE political adviser Urmas Espenberg pushed him off the platform.

Furious protesters kicked Tarand and treated him to verbal abuse that cannot be printed.

A Postimees video shows people pulling at Tarand’s clothing, pushing him to his knees and kicking him.

Tarand later told Postimees that while his injuries were not serious, they were extensive. He said that he knew participants did not share his political views but was not prepared for a situation where organizers did not control the meeting.

“When politicians try to vulgarize public debate and fire people up with simple slogans for years, they will eventually lose control of the situation,” Tarand said. “Taking political debate to the streets is a dead end. We saw the comments section of Russian Delfi take to the streets in 2007. Today (yesterday – ed.), we saw the Estonian anonymous comments section.”

EKRE politician Jaak Madison said that Tarand behaved aggressively and came to disrupt the meeting and provoke participants. “Had it not been for Ivari Padar, who shielded him with his body, Tarand would have left the meeting looking less like a white person,” Madison said in a speech. Madison made a statement yesterday afternoon, accusing the media of falsely reporting Tarand was beat up.

“Indrek Tarand, exhibiting signs of intoxication, jumped onto the stage, grabbed the microphone using force, disrupted a registered public meeting and started to shout,” Madison said. After that, Tarand was allegedly removed from the stage “by the people”.

Tarand filed a report with the police that prompted criminal proceedings based on aggravated reach of public order. EKRE also filed a report with the authorities, claiming that Tarand disrupted a registered public meeting and broke the organizer’s microphone. Police confirmed that Tarand was sober and said that other circumstances will be determined in the course of the investigation.

Prime Minister Jüri Ratas condemned the incident. “Publicly expressing one’s opinion and holding protest meetings is a part of democracy,” he wrote on social media. “It comes with the responsibility to guarantee the safety of participants and bystanders and respectful treatment of everyone whose position is different. Unfortunately, we saw how the organizers of the EKRE meeting failed or did not want to do so today.”

Ratas condemned all manner of violence in defending one’s positions and going after those of opponents: “Instead of our hands and feet, we must speak using our mouths, our heads and hearts.”

postimees.ee
migration EKRE
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Politics
Chairman of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and one of the owners of construction group Nordecon, Toomas Luman, finds that a prime ministerial candidate should first and foremost be able to answer the question of what will become of the demographic crisis in Estonia. The businessman sees controlled introduction of foreign labor as the solution. A digital construction cluster was created in Estonia a few years back to bring innovation to the s...
Society
Last year saw 27,125 registered offenses, up 0.5 percent from the year before. Violent crime was up by 12 percent to 8,249 offenses. PHOTO: Dominic Lipinski / PA Wire / Press Association Images / Scanpix Growth was biggest for domestic violence – the police launched criminal proceedings in 3,607 cases that constitutes an increase of more than one-third – annual growth of 37 percent from 2,632 cases in 2017. At the same time, reports of domestic violence we...
Society
TALLINN - Ahead of the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union, tens of thousands of British citizens have chosen the citizenship of some other country, but only one Brit has recently chosen an Estonian citizenship. Spokespeople for the Ministry of the Interior told BNS that only one British citizen submitted an application for Estonian citizenship last year and the applicant was also granted the citizenship. Before that, no Brits had soug...
Society
TALLINN - Experts from Finland, Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands highlighted the importance of decentralization and granting local governments greater decision-making powers at a conference titled "Strong local government -- strong state?" in Tallinn on Wednesday.  All Nordic countries have chosen a model granting local governments significant decision-making powers, thus the central government does not prescribe how local governments are to fulfill the...
Society
The language learning application Drops by game developer Planb Labs, established in Estonia by Hungarian founders, was named Google Play's best app of 2018. With the number of downloads surpassing 10 million, Drops was named Google's app of the year as the revenue of Planb Labs, a company registered in Estonia, increased fivefold, CNBC said. The developer's revenue grew from €335,000 in 2017 to €1.7 million in 2018. The company's shareholders include Hung...
Society
TALLINN - The Estonian Health Board has banned the distribution of chlorine dioxide, also marketed as the Miracle Mineral Supplement (MMS), the A-component of an unused product, meaning the sodium chlorite solution, must be taken to a hazardous waste collection facility. Ester Opik, head of the Health Board's North regional department, said that the banning of the distribution of the product was caused by the fact that MMS, distributed as a cosmetics produ...
Society
Nature cannot abide a vacancy, as the saying goes. If just one year ago, Estonia was battling the sale of MMS and the practice of giving it to children, a new “miracle cure” called Advanced TRS has appeared on the market now. Even though the make-up of the substance is different, the promise to cure autism and cleanse the body of heavy metals, which kind of extreme detox is accompanied by severe side-effects, sounds all too familiar. TRS is recommended to...
Society
Allied NATO battalions will soon mark two years serving in the Baltics. They have worked better than expected but would need prepositioned heavy weaponry and a functional contingency plan in case of a crisis, a report by the International Center for Defense and Security (ICDS) finds. “We do not know how Russia would have acted had we not welcomed allies in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland in 2017. I’m afraid they would have tested our resolve,” one of...
Society
The time of filing income tax returns is nearly upon us. The new income tax system, in effect since last year, will obligate many women who went on maternity leave toward the end of the year to make additional income tax payments, while those who give birth in the middle or at the beginning of the year have no such obligation. What this means is that some women will owe the state simply for giving birth “at the wrong time”. Laura Roop, who went on maternit...