The Baltic Way or Baltic Chain was a peaceful political demonstration that occurred on August 23, 1989.Approximately two million people joined their hands to form a human chain spanning over 600 kilometres (370 mi) across the three Baltic states – Estonian SSR, Latvian SSR, and Lithuanian SSR, republics of the Soviet Union. It marked the 50th anniversary of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact between the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. The pact and its secret protocols divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence and led to the occupation of the Baltic states in 1940.
The protest was designed to draw global attention by demonstrating a popular desire for independence for each of the entities. It also illustrated solidarity among the three nations. It has been described as an effective publicity campaign, emotionally captivating and visually stunning scene.
'What would be left, then, [after the destruction of the modern world] would be: an endless spectrum of arts and hobbies (singing, music, dancing, painting, sculpture, books, games, plays, riddles, shows … ); numerous museums; the study of history, local customs and dialects, genealogy, the countless pursuits related to biology; handicrafts and gardens; clear waters, virgin forests, marshlands and fells; seasons, trees, flowers, homes, private life … – in other words: a genuine life.' - Pentti Linkola