Riots in the Baltics
Riots broke out once again in the Baltic states on Friday, this time in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, where a group of 7,000 gathered to protest planned economic austerity measures. A smaller group began throwing eggs and stones through the windows of government buildings until the police moved in, using tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.
The episode was nearly identical to one on Tuesday in Latvia, when a peaceful protest of 10,000 people erupted into violence. And on Wednesday, a gathering of 2,000 in Sofia, the Bulgarian capital, began throwing stones and snowballs at the Parliament building, calling for the nation’s leaders to resign.
In all three countries, years of steady economic growth have come to a jarring halt, and citizens are facing layoffs and cuts in wages. In each case, the authorities were left wondering whether they were facing organized activism or just the anger of people whose expectations have been disappointed. “I think this is just the beginning,” said Anders Aslund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “We should expect this to happen in many places.”
Well, that's the Baltics.
How about Park Place and Boardwalk?
Perhaps, here, people have a lot more, er, "trust and faith" in the political system than they do in Lithuania and Latvia, and for good reason. The increased voting this year is very, very heartening. So, it would be really, really nice if the incoming administration didn't betray their trust. And only time will tell whether Obama rises to the occasion -- or, like his fellow FKD members Reid and Pelosi from 2006 onward, betrays us.