In the 19th anniversary of the barricades of 1991, the award of the State of Latvia – the Mark of Memory of Participants of Barricades received present and former employees of the Supreme Court – Inta Kirse, Biruta Puke, Valdis Straume and Anda Straume.

The judge Andrejs Lepse, who was the leader of the group of Popular Front in the Supreme Court, has also been awarded with the medal.

In January 1991, when people from all regions of Latvia came to Riga by buses and heavy agricultural mechanics and made barricades to defend the legally elected Supreme Board of the Republic of Latvia and government of Latvia that had not been yet admitted by foreign countries, the Supreme Court was located in the part of the building, in which Riga regional court is located now. Fortification around the building was especially important in strategic meaning, as the government was located in the same building also that time.

Inta Kirse remembers that also during tragic days of barricades court hearings took place in the Supreme Court. Beds were placed and watchmen came to rest in shifts. Near the Supreme Court there was located the post of Madona region, and men from Madona and Ergli stayed at the Supreme Court for the night. Women-employees of the Court made tea for the guardians of barricades. Most of judges of the Supreme Court donated money to buy food. “There were no other thoughts and splitting in crucial moments in the Supreme Court”, Inta Kirse remembers.

Participants of barricades have been awarded with Marks of memory for courage, self-denial and initiative shown in January and August of 1991, for contribution to organisation and supply work, and also to those persons, who supported participants of barricades of 1991 emotionally and financially. This is unique State award, and only one generation will receive it. It has no classes, no ranges – the same award will be given to a minister and farmer, it is given after death, because it is a family relic. Previously more than 25 000 participants of barricades were awarded with Marks of memory of participants of barricades.


Information prepared by

Head of the Division of Communications of the Supreme Court Rasma Zvejniece

E-mail: rasma.zvejniece@at.gov.lv, telephone: 67020396, 28652211