MOSCOW — About 250,000 Latvians rallied Sunday in the Soviet republic's capital of Riga to press for official recognition of the Latvian language and voice support for political and economic reforms, organizers said.
Sarmite Elerte, head of information for Latvia's Popular Front organization, said speakers at the rally backed proposed legislation that would entrench the Latvian language in day-to-day affairs.
Many carried the red and white national flag of the Baltic republic and placards supporting Soviet President Mikhail S. Gorbachev's program of economic reforms.
"Never before have I seen so many of our flags in public," Elerte said by telephone from Riga. "People wanted to show their support for our language. They also wanted to say that democratization cannot be stopped in Latvia."