Belarus today: slippers revolution, pot protest and living chains
In Belarus, the deadline for submitting signatures for presidential candidates is ending. But the signatures did not get to the Central Election Commission yesterday - the KGB arrested the members of the support group along with the documents on the way to the CEC.
The candidates themselves, too. Summer promises to be hot.
Today, the team of Viktor Babariko, a presidential candidate in Belarus, who was arrested yesterday with his son and put in a KGB jail, managed to submit documents to the CEC for his registration as a presidential candidate. This was reported at the headquarters of Viktor Babariko’s initiative group: “Despite the fact that Viktor Babariko is still not at large, our headquarters is conducting the registration process to the end. Therefore, today, June 20, representative of a staff lawyer Maxim sign a package of documents submitted for registration Victor Babariko candidate in Presidents of Belarus to the CEC ", - told supporters Babariko edition tyt.by.
Yesterday was the last day of submitting signatures to the CEC. In the afternoon, the last pickets of initiative groups were held in the cities of Belarus. In Gomel, people gathered at 16.00 near the circus, in Minsk - at 18.00 near the philharmonic. People also took to the streets of Vitebsk, Grodno, Brest, Mogilev, Lida, Pinsk, Baranovichi, Bobruisk, Salihorsk, Molodechno - from several tens to several hundred. They lined up in a "chain of solidarity" on the central streets of their cities at a distance of a meter and a half from each other. The participants basically dispensed with slogans and posters (sometimes they shouted “Let go!”), Applauded and waved at passing cars - the drivers honked in solidarity. At the same time, a picket in support of Alexander Lukashenko took place in Gomel. In the places of rallies in different cities, mobile Internet from MTS and A1 did not work. Almost immediately, security officers appeared in the gathering places: police officers, riot police, people in civilian clothes. In Minsk, the action was monitored by Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Alexander Barsukov and the head of the Minsk police Ivan Kubrakov. The metro stations Yakub Kolas Square and Victory Square were closed, and buses did not stop at Yakub Kolas Square. For some time, sections of Independence Avenue were blocked in the area of Victory Square and the Oktyabrskaya metro station. At around 8 pm, mass detentions began in different cities. The chains of solidarity ”formed spontaneously: where the security forces appeared, they disappeared, then appeared again. So in Minsk, people united in a “chain” from Yakub Kolas Square to Oktyabrskaya. Mass arrests (video here ) took place in the area of Yakub Kolas Square, Gorky Park, and the circus. According to human rights activists, already after 23.00, about 20 people were detained near the Belarusian State Circus. Among the detainees are many journalists, including TUT.BY, Radio Svaboda, Reuters, Onliner, and Belsat correspondents. Some of them were released after checking documents at the police department. Detentions took place in other cities of Belarus: in Mogilev, Grodno, Bobruisk, Gomel, Vitebsk, Novopolotsk. According to human rights activists , more than 120 people were detained in the evening of June 19 and at night of June 20, of which more than 90 were in Minsk.
Unlike previous protests in Belarus, the current wave has captured middle-class citizens and part of the elite, writes the Economist magazine, who felt the possibility of change when among the 15 candidates they saw former Belarus ambassador to the USA Valery Tsapalo and former banker Viktor Babariko, who now together with his son, he sits in a pre-trial detention center and through his supporters calls on his fellow citizens not to wait for the elections, but to hold a referendum on changing the constitution and return the status quo "to Lukashenko".
Nevertheless, the situation was changed by people who went outside. In live chains that quickly turned into processions, they told why they went out and why Alexander Lukashenko is not their president. A middle-aged woman said to the man standing in front of her: “Under this power, all normal people, in my opinion, have served time. My husband has been sitting for four years, can you imagine? ”The man replied: “Also to me, sensation. Did they decide to surprise me? Her husband, you know, has served time. Yes, I already had two daughters! ” Here are the other voices:
- I used to be apolitical. I didn’t even go to the polls. Well, she lived and lived: it seems that there is work, and life is somehow going on. I did not even know that in 2010 there were these detentions in the square. But this year, when they began to grab everyone, they found money [from Tikhanovsky] already the third time. Well, what, they really hold us for fools? It's just that it's time for someone to retire, that's all. // Irina, Mogilev
- I came to this picket of solidarity, because I could not help but come. My son is sitting, other people are sitting. People across the country are being detained, they are being tried for nothing. And all Belarusians must now show solidarity if we live in Belarus, belong to this nation. We must overcome fear and show that we are a people. // Tatyana Sevyarynets, Vitebsk
“What did he do from what he promised?” Salary of 500. Who does she have? The support of teachers and doctors is a lie. Today, teachers work in classes with 30 children each, and they are not paid extra for the load. And about coronavirus. I don’t understand why the whole world is fighting, and they tell us that this is not a problem. It’s scary to read the news: people are detained every day. If we knew in the 90s what he would turn the country into, we would never have voted for him. I think the world will not forgive him. Today, both Russia and the EU know what is happening in our country. // Svetlana Eduardovna, pensioner, Minsk.
People took to the streets in living chains to protect their candidates. Alexander G. Lukashenko was definitely not their candidate. According to opposition polls, 3% of Belarusians support him. The nickname “Cockroach” stuck to him at all. A reader from Gomel writes a telegram to the Basta channel about why the cockroach is losing the war with the people. “If we go for a walk every day, we exhaust the authorities very quickly. were ready. But yesterday they screwed up again, even though they were getting ready, and the Internet was chopped off, and carousels of pickups were arranged and even brandished trunks in some places. Nothing helped. We can’t be stopped".
The son of the former political prisoner of the former Minister of Foreign Economic Relations of Belarus Pavel Marynich talked with the Charter97.org portal about what is happening in Belarus. “I’m absolutely sure that we will already celebrate the New Year in Belarus without Lukashenko, I have no doubt about that. The Belarusians have an obvious desire to change their life. They are simply tired of living constantly in the fear, poverty and humiliation that they hear from this I don’t understand how people can react differently today, listening to the sayings of this insane maniac on TV every day. Lukashenko has no resource to hold on to power. The economy is in ruin, but the most important thing is his rotten 3%, which do not give him a chance to have a good sleep".
Irina Khalip, a journalist, a former political prisoner and the wife of a political prisoner, former presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov, believes that the Belarusian authorities made Viktor Babariko the ideal presidential candidate. Viktor Babariko was missing only one until yesterday: he nevertheless, with his bank, cottage, money and other attributes of a prosperous life, remained classically alien to many Belarusians. Sometimes I heard: bourgeois, Gazprom, he does not care about the people, he will not understand such a hard worker. But now the last obstacle is destroyed. Babariko - a prisoner, a prisoner, a prisoner. Socially close, class native to any Belarus. And now even those who feared "bourgeoisie" were filled not only with sympathy, but also with respect: a strong man, did not succumb to threats, gave his well-fed life, went to prison. No one believes the legends of a stealing banker from an official television.
Leader of Solidarity, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Lech Walesa urged Belarusians not to give up and defend democracy. “The only question is the time and price that we are ready to pay freedom in Belarus. But this should happen, because without free Belarus there is no Europe”.