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Environmental Protection Club (Latvia)

Vides aizsardzības klubs, VAK

Last modified: 2021-08-12 by zachary harden
Keywords: environmental protection club | latvia |
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image by Tomislav Todorovic, 5 April 2020



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Overview

Founded in 1987, Environmental Protection Club (Vides aizsardzības klubs, VAK) is the oldest extant environmentalist organization in Latvia [1, 2]. Prior to independence, beside organizing protests aimed at addressing numerous environmental problems, it was also joining those requesting democratization of the country, which would later grow into the Latvian independence movement [1, 3, 4]. In independent Latvia, the organization devoted itself to environmental issues again, outliving most of the organizations founded in the same period [1, 3, 4].

Tomislav Todorovic, 5 April 2020


Flag

The flag which Environmental Protection Club adopted shortly after its founding is derived from the national flag of Latvia, still banned at that time, by repainting the field from red into green [2]. The fact that on black and white TV screens, it cannot be distinguished from Latvian national flag [2, 3, 4, 5], had turned it into an important political symbol in pre-independence years, probably with many more users than the VAK members. The VAK still uses the same flag [2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12]. It was also adopted by the Latvian Green Party. This shared use of a flag is clearly not disputed by either user, because they not only closely co-operate, but also share common origins, as well as many founders and other members.

Sources:
[1] Environmental Protection Club at Wikipedia (in Latvian): https://lv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vides_aizsardz%C4%ABbas_klubs
[2] Latvian Public Broadcasting website: https://lr2.lsm.lv/lv/raksts/latvijas-simtgades-stastu-raksti/vides-aizsardzibas-klubs.a100580/
[3] Vides Vēstis website: http://www.videsvestis.lv/vak-uzdevums/
[4] eDruva website: http://edruva.lv/zalas-idejas-nenoglaba/
[5] Latvian National History Museum website - Virtual exhibition about the Environmental Protection Club: http://lnvm.lv/?p=11293
[6] Jauns.lv website - Photos from the Environmental Protection Club seat on 2012-02-28: https://jauns.lv/foto/zinas/19595-vides-aizsardzibas-klubs-svin-25-gadu-jubileju
[7] Environmental Protection Club at Facebook - Photo uploaded on 2015-04-01: https://www.facebook.com/videsklubs/photos/a.931294863558526/931295466891799/?type=3
[8] Environmental Protection Club at Facebook - Photo uploaded on 2015-04-01: https://www.facebook.com/videsklubs/photos/a.931294863558526/931295813558431/?type=3
[9] Environmental Protection Club at Facebook - Photo uploaded on 2015-09-07: https://www.facebook.com/videsklubs/photos/a.1004951459526199/1004955049525840/?type=3
[10] Environmental Protection Club at Facebook - Photo uploaded on 2015-09-07: https://www.facebook.com/videsklubs/photos/a.1004951459526199/1004954349525910/?type=3
[11] Environmental Protection Club at Facebook - Photo uploaded on 2018-09-05: https://www.facebook.com/videsklubs/photos/a.658581520829863/1991177000903635/?type=3
[12] Environmental Protection Club at Facebook - Photo uploaded on 2018-09-05: https://www.facebook.com/videsklubs/photos/a.658581520829863/1991176194237049/?type=3

 Tomislav Todorovic, 5 April 2020