THE ARCHDIOCESE OF KAUNAS
A state of war could be sensed in Kaunas on the occasion of the first anniversary of Romas Kalanta's tragic self-immolation. Policemen were in evidence not only all overLaisvės Alėja [Liberty Avenue] but throughout Kaunas. There were even soldiers dressed in police uniforms. The policemen kept watch "armored" with "bananas" [riot sticks—tr.] and two-way radios. People from government agencies and schools were assigned to help maintain order in the streets. On May 14 the Laisvės Alėja teemed with people, but the police kept ordering them to keep moving.
During the night before May 14, the Lithuanian tricolor flag was flown atop the City of Kaunas Executive Committee building, but it was soon noticed and taken down. (This information was learned from a security agent.) All persons who dared to place flowers at Kalanta's grave or at the site of his self-immolation were arrested. How many persons were arrested is not known. The youth of Kaunas gathered briefly on the central boulevard to commemorate the anniversary of Kalanta's self-immolation. The anniversary passed without any noteworthy incidents.
The principal participants of the demonstration on this occasion were the soldiers and policemen, who clearly showed how much the Soviet authorities fear freedom of thought. During those days many students were transported out of Kaunas under various pretexts. At some schools the "activities" lasted from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. so that students would not be free to go out into the streets of the city. In addition, students were ordered not to be seen on Laisvės Alėja on May 14; they were even forbidden to go to the stores there.
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