Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Singing Revolution

After being battered by invasions of Germany and the Soviet Union and 40 years as a "state" in the Soviet Union, Estonia turned against its masters. By singing.


In 1985 General Secretary of the Soviet Union Gorbachov, needing to stimulate the Soviet economy, introduced his Glastnost and Perestroika progrem. This was the slightest reduction in the repression of the Soviet police state.

May 14, 1988 at a music festival in Estonia during the performance of five patriotic songs, the people joined hands and started a tradition - of singing. The next month in Tallinn, then other locations.

In September, 1988 300,000 people - a quarter of the population - joined to together to sing. And they began to speak of restoring independence. This "singing revolution" lasted 4 years.

In 1991 Soviet tanks came intending to stop the Estonian progress toward independence. The Congress of Estonia proclaimed the restoration of the independent state of Estonia. People acted as human shields to protect the radio and television stations from the tanks. By these actions Estonia regained its independence without bloodshed. See The Singing Revolution

Latvia and Lithuania

At the same time the neighboring states Latvia and Lithuania also resisted by singing and regained their independence.

See this history

A movie telling these stories is currently in limited release in the US and Canada. For more information and screening locations/dates see:

The Singing Revolution



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