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Activists bringing change in Latvia

26 January 2016

Latvians celebrating EuroPride, with protestors in the background (Photograph: Lauren Anderson)

Pride in London have nominated Kristine Garina and Kaspars Zalitis of Mozaika LGBT in Latvia for recognition in The Guardian Professional Development Network’s LGBT week.

Kristine and Kaspars founded Mozaika ten years ago. They organised the first Pride event ever to take place in the Baltic. It was met with hostility and opposition from far right groups and some politicians, but they stood their ground. Their work has raised awareness and increased the visibility of the LGBT+ community throughout the region.

Last year, they organised and hosted EuroPride despite continuing to face sustained opposition. The event brought Prides and LGBT+ organisations from around the world to Riga for a week-long festival. Volunteers from Pride in London marched in the Parade with the British Embassy in Latvia, although there was a very different atmosphere to the UK. The route was lined with armed riot police, who held back a noisy group of protestors at the entrance to the park.

Kristine, a straight ally of the LGBT+ community, has since been elected President of the European Pride Organisers Association, who manage EuroPride. She and Kaspars continue to run Mozaika and are heavily involved in organising Baltic Pride, which this June takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania.

Kristine and Kaspars have both shown overwhelming dedication to the Baltic LGBT+ community – and we'll be going to Baltic Pride this year to show our support and solidarity.

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