Moscow publisher Boris Pasternak continues to publish a series of reports from the insurgent Minsk. This time, he described the traditional “Sunday March” on December 6, 2020:
“Taught by bitter experience, I warn you: a joke will follow.
Finally, trust has developed between the authorities and the protesters. For the fourth time, the siloviki believed the calls of the "extremist telegram channels" to march on Sunday march in their yards and neighborhoods, and not gather in a large column in the city center.
As a result, we had: a city center, free of metal fences around squares, monuments and government buildings; almost complete absence of paddy wagons, police buses and trucks for personnel in the streets and lanes near Independence Avenue. And only army and riot police patrols still plowed the deserted expanses of the central part of the city, stuck out in courtyard arches and at crossroads - just in case.
True, the authorities, instead of thanking the telegram channels for useful information, took and turned them off completely! In order not to get proud, I guess.
Even around the stele "Minsk - Hero City" there was no barbed wire today! And at about two o'clock in the afternoon I saw the incredible on Pobediteley Avenue: a sweet couple was slowly rolling towards the Moscow Ring Road - a water cannon and a truck with a "thorn". As unnecessary.
As for the marches in the districts, everything is in order with them, they passed according to the planned schedule, from 12.00 to 15.00. With flags, with car horns, with applause from windows and balconies. And when the siloviki, who were running around completely, drove up to the columns, curses and all sorts of offensive definitions came from the windows: "punishers", "fascists", "freaks", etc.
What I saw with my own eyes. When a group of people, at least 7-10 people, is walking along the sidewalk, without any flags or posters, the drivers start honking their horns. Indeed: where can they go on Sunday afternoon? It is clear, however, that a protest march.
In several places I noticed young guys standing by the road, two or three. He asked what they were expecting here. It turned out to be the sentinels. They are waiting for the militia and soldiers to disperse on calls to other areas, then they will give their signal to collect the column.
Again, unfortunately, there were detentions. I didn’t hear it myself, but the participants in the marches said that the following instructions were heard in the negotiations between the security forces: “Do not take women and children. Take those who are running and those who are filming. " In its own way it is reasonable. Based on the experience of four months of arrests, they finally realized that women would simply ruin and decompose this prison system - they are so fearless, persistent and creative. Well, and with those who shoot, the system fights from the very beginning, first of all, delaying and depriving journalists of accreditation. But now almost every journalist protesting himself - iPhones and smartphones are jam-packed with compromising evidence on security officials. So “those who shoot” will still not be able to be overfished.
I know that tomorrow, if not today, the state television channels will once again tell how the protest was blown away. He’s not breathing at all, there is just a little pressure left… I just don’t understand - is this deliberate propaganda or self-deception? Or is it a deception of the only viewer for whom these TV channels are designed? Although this only one himself admitted that he was watching forbidden telegram channels, he even began to quote them. Will he really endure and not look at today's chronicle? She will upset him very much, especially if in the morning he was sure that "the protest was blown away."
Well, and surely someone from the sympathizers will report that the protest is at an impasse. They say that they have delayed this case, now they will have to wait almost for spring to rock someone again ... Actually, if anyone is at a dead end, I think it is the power. Not even stumped, but paralyzed. Something needs to be done urgently, but they don't even know which way to think. You can't really consider the clearing of buildings from white-red-white symbols a success. Or the regular destruction of memorials to the victims. The authorities are well aware that if they remove the armed guards, the flags and flowers will immediately appear again.
They promised to convene some kind of All-Belarusian Assembly, but so far they have not announced either the time or the method of this convocation, or, most importantly, the goal. I think they are pulling, not least because they know exactly the reaction of society to this meeting - it will take place under the laughter and hooting of the protesters. Is it possible to hold it as secretly, without an announcement and without the press, as the inauguration? But there will be no less laughter, only the next day.
And most importantly, after this meeting, you will still have to allow people to vote for something, for some amendments to something. And then to hold some new elections, which means again to allow them to vote! And how to allow them to vote if the result of the vote is already known in advance! Yearning…
And now, I warn you, there will be a joke again. Even two.
I went into a small shop. I listen to the conversations at the counter.
- Take good chocolate, President. He alone eats it. And it looks good.
- Not really.
- And the truth is, there is still three days of toilet paper in the city?
- Yes, tragedy is inevitable.
And general laughter. We have fun in Minsk on Sundays..."