The Info List - Sąjūdis

(Lithuanian: [ˈsâːjuːdʲɪs], "Movement"), initially known as the Reform Movement of Lithuania
(Lithuanian: Lietuvos Persitvarkymo Sąjūdis), is the political organisation which led the struggle for Lithuanian independence in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was established on 3 June 1988, and was led by Vytautas Landsbergis. Its goal was to seek the return of independent status for Lithuania.


1 Historical background 2 Forming Sąjūdis 3 Sąjūdis
activities 4 After independence 5 Members of Sąjūdis
Initiative Group 6 See also 7 References

Historical background[edit] Main article: Singing Revolution In the mid-1980s, Lithuania's Communist Party leadership hesitated to embrace Gorbachev's perestroika and glasnost. The death of Petras Griškevičius, first secretary of the Communist Party of Lithuania, in 1987 was merely followed by the appointment of another rigid communist, Ringaudas Songaila. However, encouraged by the rhetoric of Mikhail Gorbachev, noting the strengthening position of Solidarity in Poland and encouraged by the Pope and the U.S. Government, Baltic independence activists began to hold public demonstrations in Riga, Tallinn, and Vilnius. Forming Sąjūdis[edit] At a meeting at the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences on 3 June 1988, communist and non-communist intellectuals formed Sąjūdis
Initiative Group (Lithuanian: Sąjūdžio iniciatyvinė grupė) to organise a movement to support Gorbachev's program of glasnost, democratisation, and perestroika. The group composed of 35 members, mostly artists. 17 of the group members were also communist party members. Its goal was to organise the Sąjūdis
Reform Movement, which became known subsequently simply as Sąjūdis. On 24 June 1988, the first massive gathering organised by Sąjūdis took place. There delegates to the 19th All-Union Conference of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
were instructed about Sąjūdis goals. About 100,000 people in Vingis Park
Vingis Park
greeted the delegates when they came back in July. Another massive event took place on 23 August 1988, when about 250,000 people gathered to protest against the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact
Molotov-Ribbentrop pact
and its secret protocol. On 19 June 1988 the first issue of samizdat newspaper " Sąjūdis
News" (Lithuanian: Sąjūdžio žinios) was published. In September Sąjūdis
published a legal newspaper, "Atgimimas" (English: rebirth). In total about 150 different newspapers were printed supporting Sąjūdis. In October 1988 Sąjūdis
held its founding conference in Vilnius. It elected 35-member council. Most its members were members of the initiative group. Vytautas Landsbergis, a professor of musicology who was not a member of the communist party, became the council's chairman.

Sajudis plaque at old headquarters of the movement, now Ireland's embassy. Vilnius, 1 Šventaragio g.

activities[edit] The movement supported Gorbachev's policies, but at the same time promoted Lithuanian national issues such as restoration of the Lithuanian language
Lithuanian language
as the official language. Its demands included the revelation of truth about the Stalinist years, protection of the environment, the halt to construction on a third nuclear reactor at the Ignalina nuclear power plant, and disclosure of the secret protocols of the Nazi-Soviet Non-aggression Pact, signed in 1939. Sąjūdis
used mass meetings to advance its goals. At first, Communist Party leaders shunned these meetings, but by mid-1988 their participation became a political necessity. A Sąjūdis
rally on 24 June 1988, was attended by Algirdas Brazauskas, then party secretary for industrial affairs. In October 1988, Brazauskas was appointed first secretary of the communist party to replace Songaila. Communist leaders threatened to crack down on Sąjūdis, but backed down in the face of mass protests. Sąjūdis
candidates fared well in elections to the Congress of People's Deputies, the newly created Soviet legislative body. Their candidates won in 36 of the 40 districts in which they ran. In February 1989 Sąjūdis
declared that Lithuania
had been forcibly annexed by the Soviet Union and that the group's ultimate goal was to achieve independence. Lithuanian sovereignty was proclaimed in May 1989, and Lithuania's incorporation into the Soviet Union was declared illegal. On 23 August 1989, the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Nazi-Soviet Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, a 600-kilometre, two-million-strong human chain reaching from Tallinn
to Vilnius focused international attention on the aspirations of the Baltic nations. This demonstration and the coordinated efforts of the three nations became known as The Baltic Way. In December the Communist Party of Lithuania
seceded from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
and agreed to give up its monopoly on power. In February 1990 Sąjūdis
representatives won an absolute majority (101 seats out of 141) in the Supreme Council of the Lithuanian SSR. Vytautas Landsbergis
Vytautas Landsbergis
was elected chairman of the Supreme Council. This led to the declaration of independence on 11 March 1990. After independence[edit] Today, Sąjūdis
is still active in Lithuania, but it has lost almost all its influence. The popularity of Sąjūdis
lessened as it failed to maintain unity among people with different political beliefs and was ineffective coping with the economic crisis. The Democratic Labour Party (DLP; the former Communist Party of Lithuania) was victorious in the Seimas
elections of November 1992. Much of the group, including Landsbergis, formed the core of the Homeland Union, now the largest centre-right party in Lithuania. Members of Sąjūdis
Initiative Group[edit]

Regimantas Adomaitis Vytautas Bubnys Juozas Bulavas Antanas Buračas Algimantas Čekuolis Virgilijus Čepaitis Vaclovas Daunoras Sigitas Geda Bronius Genzelis Arvydas Juozaitis Julius Juzeliūnas Algirdas Kaušpėdas Česlovas Kudaba Bronius Kuzmickas Vytautas Landsbergis Bronius Leonavičius Meilė Lukšienė Alfonsas Maldonis Justinas Marcinkevičius Alvydas Medalinskas Jokūbas Minkevičius Algimantas Nasvytis Romualdas Ozolas Romas Pakalnis Saulius Pečiulis Vytautas Petkevičius Kazimira Prunskienė Vytautas Radžvilas Raimundas Rajeckas Artūras Skučas Gintaras Songaila Arvydas Šaltenis Vitas Tomkus Zigmas Vaišvila Arūnas Žebriūnas

See also[edit]

Latvian National Independence Movement Popular Front of Estonia Popular Front of Latvia Singing Revolution Belarusian Popular Front


Lithuania: The Move Toward Independence, 1987-91, Country Study. 1940–1992. Soviet era and the restoration of independence, Estonica, Estonian Institute. Česlovas Laurinavičius, Vladas Sirutavičius. Lietuvos istorija. XII t. Id. Sąjūdis: nuo "Persitvarkymo" iki Kovo 11-osios.2008, ISBN 978-9955-23-164-6

v t e

Restoration of the independence of the Baltic states

Armed struggle

Groups and events

Guerrilla war in the Baltic states
Guerrilla war in the Baltic states
(1944–56) Forest Brothers Union of Lithuanian Freedom Fighters Operation Priboi
Operation Priboi
(1949) Operation Jungle
Operation Jungle

Freedom fighters

August Sabbe Jānis Pīnups Pranas Končius Juozas Lukša Adolfas Ramanauskas

Soviet dissident era

Groups and events

Lithuanian Helsinki Group (1977–81) Lithuanian Liberty League
Lithuanian Liberty League
(1978–95) Baltic Appeal (1979) Letter of 40 Intellectuals (1980) Phosphorite War
Phosphorite War
(1987) MRP-AEG (1987–88)


Gunārs Astra Romas Kalanta Jüri Kukk Tiit Madisson Mart Niklus Lagle Parek Enn Tarto Tomas Venclova

Political activism era


ERSP Popular Front of Estonia Popular Front of Latvia Sąjūdis Estonian Citizens' Committee Congress of Estonia


Tunne Kelam Vytautas Landsbergis Lennart Meri

Singing Revolution

Hirvepark meeting (1987) Night Song Festivals (1988) Baltic Way
Baltic Way
(1989) Alo Mattiisen Baltics are Waking Up

Key decisions

Sovereignty Declaration of the Estonian SSR (1988) Act of the Re-Establishment of the State of Lithuania
(1990) On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia
On the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia

Final armed confrontations

Soviet OMON assaults on Lithuanian border posts January 1991 events in Lithuania January 1991 events in Latvia

Post-independence crises

Pullapää crisis (1993) Coup of the Volunteers
Coup of the Volunteers

v t e

Revolutions of 1989

Internal background

Era of Stagnation Communism Anti-communism Criticism of communist party rule Eastern Bloc Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
economies Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
politics Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
media and propaganda Eastern Bloc
Eastern Bloc
emigration and defection KGB Nomenklatura Shortage economy Totalitarianism Eastern European anti-Communist insurgencies

International background

Active measures Cold War List of socialist states People Power Revolution Predictions of the dissolution of the Soviet Union Reagan Doctrine Soviet Empire Terrorism and the Soviet Union Vatican Opposition Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia


Uskoreniye Perestroika

Democratization in the Soviet Union Khozraschyot 500 Days Sinatra Doctrine

Glasnost Socialism with Chinese characteristics Đổi mới

Government leaders

Ramiz Alia Nicolae Ceaușescu Mikhail Gorbachev Károly Grósz Erich Honecker János Kádár Miloš Jakeš Egon Krenz Wojciech Jaruzelski Slobodan Milošević Mathieu Kérékou Mengistu Haile Mariam Ne Win Denis Sassou Nguesso Heng Samrin Deng Xiaoping Todor Zhivkov Siad Barre

Opposition methods

Civil resistance Demonstrations Human chains Magnitizdat Polish underground press Protests Samizdat Strike action

Opposition leaders

Lech Wałęsa Václav Havel Alexander Dubček Ion Iliescu Liu Gang Wu'erkaixi Chai Ling Wang Dan Feng Congde Tank Man Joachim Gauck Sali Berisha Sanjaasürengiin Zorig Vladimir Bukovsky Boris Yeltsin Viacheslav Chornovil Vytautas Landsbergis Zianon Pazniak Zhelyu Zhelev Aung San Suu Kyi Meles Zenawi Isaias Afwerki Ronald Reagan George H. W. Bush Pope John Paul II

Opposition movements

Beijing Students' Autonomous Federation Charter 77 New Forum Civic Forum Democratic Party of Albania Democratic Russia Initiative for Peace and Human Rights Sąjūdis Peaceful Revolution People's Movement of Ukraine Solidarity Popular Front of Latvia Popular Front of Estonia Public Against Violence Belarusian Popular Front National League for Democracy National Salvation Front Unification Church political activities Union of Democratic Forces

Events by location

Central and Eastern Europe

Albania Bulgaria Czechoslovakia East Germany Hungary Poland Romania Soviet Union Yugoslavia

Soviet Union

Armenia Azerbaijan Belarus Chechnya Estonia Georgia Latvia Lithuania Kazakhstan Kyrgyzstan Moldova Russia Tajikstan Turkmenistan Ukraine Uzbekistan


Afghanistan Angola Benin Burma Cambodia China Congo-Brazzaville Ethiopia Mongolia Mozambique Somalia South Yemen

Individual events

1988 Polish strikes April 9 tragedy Black January Baltic Way 1987–89 Tibetan unrest Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 Removal of Hungary's border fence with Austria Polish Round Table Agreement Hungarian Round Table Talks Pan-European Picnic Monday Demonstrations Alexanderplatz demonstration Malta Summit German reunification January Events in Lithuania January Events in Latvia 1991 protests in Belgrade August Coup Dissolution of the Soviet Union

Later events

Colour revolution Decommunization Lustration Democratization Economic liberalization Post-Soviet conflicts Neo-Sovietism Neo-Stalinism Post-communism Yugoslav Wars

v t e

Lithuania articles



Balts Lithuania
proper Grand Duchy

1219–95 Duchy Kingdom Christianization Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth

Revival and independence

Press ban National Revival

Great Seimas
of Vilnius

Act of Independence Wars of Independence

Lithuanian–Soviet War Polish–Lithuanian War

1919 Polish coup d'état attempt First Soviet republic 1926 coup d'état

WWII and occupations

Occupation of the Baltic states

by the Soviet Union (1940) by Nazi Germany by the Soviet Union (1944)

Holocaust Resistance Second Soviet republic Baltic states under Soviet rule (1944–91) Government-in-exile


Reform Movement (Sąjūdis) Singing Revolution Baltic Way Act of Re-Establishment January Events August Putsch




Climate Extreme points Flora Forests Lakes Regional parks Rivers Towns


Administrative divisions

counties municipalities elderships


Constitutional Court

Elections Foreign relations Government

Prime Minister


Law enforcement


Speaker Political parties



Land Force Naval Force Air Force Special
Operations Force


Agriculture Banks

Central bank

Energy Euro Litas (former currency) Telecommunications Transport

airports rail roads seaport



Demographics Education


Ethnic minorities Ethnographic regions Language Lithuanians Religion


Calendar Cinema Cuisine Cultural history Ethnographic Lithuania Literature Music Mythology Name Public holidays Sport Symbols

anthem coat of arms flag

Outline Index

Book Category Portal

v t e

Political parties in Lithuania

Parties in the Seimas

Farmers and Greens Union (54) Homeland Union
Homeland Union
(31) Social Democratic Labour Party (12) Social Democratic Party (7) Liberal Movement (14) Electoral Action of Poles in Lithuania
(8) Order and Justice
Order and Justice
(8) Labour Party (2) Centre Party (1) Lithuanian List (1) Green Party (1)

Other active parties

The Way of Courage Freedom Union National Union Nationalist Union Lithuanian People's Party Lithuanian Russian Union Party of National Progress Samogitian Party Socialist People's Front Young Lithuania

Defunct parties (Since 1990)

Centre Union Christian Conservative Social Union Christian Democratic Union Christian Party Civic Democratic Party Communist Party Democratic Labour Party Front Party Independence Party Liberal and Centre Union Liberal Union Christian Democrats Christian Democratic Party Democratic Party Lithuanian Liberty League Lithuanian Liberty Union Peasants Party Social Democratic Union Union of Political Prisoners and Deportees Modern Christian-Democratic Union National Democratic Party National Resurrection Party New Democracy Party New Union (Social Liberals) Sąjūdis Socialist Party Unified Lithuanian National Workers Movement YES Young Communist League

Politics of Lithuania Portal:Politics List of political partie