Friday photo: Riga Rumble

Two pensioners fight during a protest rally, organized by trade unions in Riga on 18 June, 2009. Thousands of Latvians rallied in the Baltic state’s capital as trade unions stepped up their battle against an austerity drive in an EU member nation trying to stave off bankruptcy. Some 5,000 people hit the streets after the ...

By , a former associate editor at Foreign Policy.
584631_090619_riga2.jpg
584631_090619_riga2.jpg
Two pensioners fight during a protest rally, organized by trade unions in Riga on 18 June, 2009. Thousands of Latvians rallied in the Baltic state's capital as trade unions stepped up their battle against an austerity drive in an EU member nation trying to stave off bankruptcy. Some 5,000 people hit the streets after the Latvian Free Confederation of Trade Unions called for a protest against public spending cuts to meet the terms of an international bailout that is keeping Latvia afloat. The measures, passed by parliament on June 16, and due to come into force from July 1, include a controversial 10-percent cut in pensions. "They might as well gather all the pensioners and shoot them. Then there'd be no problem and the budget would have the money," said Nina, a demonstrator in her sixties who declined to give her last name. Other measures include a 20-percent cut in public-sector pay -- including salaries for government members -- and a reduction of around a quarter in the minimum wage. AFP PHOTO / ILMARS ZNOTINS (Photo credit should read ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images)

Two pensioners fight during a protest rally, organized by trade unions in Riga on 18 June, 2009. Thousands of Latvians rallied in the Baltic state's capital as trade unions stepped up their battle against an austerity drive in an EU member nation trying to stave off bankruptcy. Some 5,000 people hit the streets after the Latvian Free Confederation of Trade Unions called for a protest against public spending cuts to meet the terms of an international bailout that is keeping Latvia afloat. The measures, passed by parliament on June 16, and due to come into force from July 1, include a controversial 10-percent cut in pensions. 'They might as well gather all the pensioners and shoot them. Then there'd be no problem and the budget would have the money,' said Nina, a demonstrator in her sixties who declined to give her last name. Other measures include a 20-percent cut in public-sector pay -- including salaries for government members -- and a reduction of around a quarter in the minimum wage.

ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images

Two pensioners fight during a protest rally, organized by trade unions in Riga on 18 June, 2009. Thousands of Latvians rallied in the Baltic state’s capital as trade unions stepped up their battle against an austerity drive in an EU member nation trying to stave off bankruptcy. Some 5,000 people hit the streets after the Latvian Free Confederation of Trade Unions called for a protest against public spending cuts to meet the terms of an international bailout that is keeping Latvia afloat. The measures, passed by parliament on June 16, and due to come into force from July 1, include a controversial 10-percent cut in pensions. ‘They might as well gather all the pensioners and shoot them. Then there’d be no problem and the budget would have the money,’ said Nina, a demonstrator in her sixties who declined to give her last name. Other measures include a 20-percent cut in public-sector pay — including salaries for government members — and a reduction of around a quarter in the minimum wage.

ILMARS ZNOTINS/AFP/Getty Images

Joshua Keating was an associate editor at Foreign Policy. Twitter: @joshuakeating

Tag: Media

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.