16/06/2016

UPDATED: Activists Occupy a Public Square in Kaunas in Protest Against the New Labour Code

by Locomotive.press

Today (16 June 2016) Lithuanian Seimas was supposed to vote on the new Labour Code which was criticised extensively for being discriminatory towards the workers’ rights. This legal motion is seen as part of a wider tendency of liberalisation of work relations across Europe (for a more thorough analysis on this topic see Noah Brehmer’s article). Protests in Vilnius and Kaunas are being held on the 15th and 16th of June, meanwhile the voting itself was postponed till next Thursday, 23 June.

Wednesday evening, after the march across the center of the city, protesters occupied a public square in Kaunas and spent the night there. Their aim is to call public attention to the problem of the new Labour Code as well as the problem of public spaces that are often taken from public use by the businesses. Some of the slogans read: “Gyvenimas per brangus” (“Life is too expensive”) and “Skurdas neturi sienų” (“Poverty has no borders”). The public actions in Kaunas are organised by the #gyvenimasperbrangus movement, and has already received a wide support from the citizens and activists, including Prof. Gintautas Mažeikis (Vytautas Magnus University) who will read an improvised lecture on the importance of spontaneity and public movements at 8pm at the Kaunas City Garden Square (Kauno miesto sodas).  Today is the second day of the sit-in protest, however according to the latest news, authorities threaten to evict the protesters.

For live video streaming from Kaunas see Tadas Janusauskas Facebook wall. Also watch this post for updates.

UPDATED 19.6.2016: Today 7-11 PM an assembly will be held at Miesto sodas.

It is the 5th day of the protest and the activists are now supplied with the electricity.  There will be movie screenings every night starting from today. For more information follow: “Naktinis Kinas Miesto Sode

UPDATED 20.6.2016: Today 9-10.30 PM – a presentation about alternative social spaces in Eastern and Central Europe with a special attention to the case of Rog Factory squat in Ljubljana. See here for more information.

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