11:07 GMT +318 November 2018
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    March of angry parents in Riga against the full transfer of schools into the Latvian language.

    Thousands Rally in Riga Against Switching Russian-Language Schools to Latvian

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    RIGA (Sputnik) - Several thousand people have taken part in a rally in the center of Latvian capital Riga against the government plan to switch Russian-language schools to the Latvian language, a Sputnik correspondent reported on Saturday.

    The protesters, led by Tatjana Zdanoka, the leader of the leftist Latvian Russian Union party, and European Parliament member Andrejs Mamikins, marched from the Dailes Theater to the Rainis monument in the Espalanade park, where the rally was held.

    Some of them were holding Latvian and Russian national flags, or posters reading "Keep your hands off our schools" in Russian and in Latvian.

    READ MORE: 'Peace of Mind': Latvian MP Wants Russia to Fall Apart?

    According to the local police, over 5,000 people have taken to the streets. There were no incidents during the event, with dozens of police officers controlling the situation.

    On April 2, Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis signed into law a bill envisaging the gradual transfer of the national minorities' schools located in the county, including the Russian-language schools, to the Latvian language of teaching by the 2021-2022 academic year. Subjects, related to the minorities' languages and history, will be an exception.

    The population of Latvia amounts to over 1.9 million people, including 12 percent of Russians. According to the latest full census held in Latvia, over 37.2 percent of people living in the country speak Russian at home, while Latvian is the only official language.

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    schools, Russian language, protest, Riga, Latvia
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