Live From Tallinn | Bleader

Live From Tallinn


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I’m in Tallinn, Estonia, checking out the annual Jazzkaar Festival, but last night’s music—a killer set by Andy Bey ’s trio and a disappointing arena-rock set by Barcelona flamenco-hip-hop fusioneers Ojos de Brujo —were overshadowed by some intense social unres in the streets near the downtown hotel where I’m staying. The Bronze Soldier statue, a monument erected in honor of the Red Army troops that fought the Nazis to protect Estonia during World War II, was removed yesterday. About 40 percent of the country’s population is ethnic Russian and many of them were none too pleased by this decision, part of a larger campaign to scrub out any vestiges of Soviet occupation.

As night fell peaceful demonstrations turned violent. One person was killed and dozens were injured. This was all happening while I was hearing music, but the tension was palpable as I returned to my hotel. Here's the Times Online's coverage, including a link to a photo slide show.