For the first time because protests throughout the presidential race of 2010, Belarusians eventually find the actual opportunity to overthrow President Alexander Lukashenko later 26 years old dictatorship.
Although the chances to share our distress are restricted, the tide of climbing civic activism disturbs the present government. It bothers them a lot.
Just like a wounded monster deprived of propaganda-fueled oxygen, staff Lukashenko is biting even harder. Uncompromising and distressed, the regime currently declares it is prepared to use weapons to protect itself out of its people who dare to share their opinions.
Within an environment of barbarous dangers and paralysing fear, where can the Belarusian civic society discovers the hope and power to fight?
The president’s activities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic differed from the European nations. However, the bargaining chips in his distinctive strategy were our own lives.
At the end of June, the amount of infected individuals in Belarus, a country of eight million, in contrast to that of China’s Hubei province, that can be 60 million-strong. Meanwhile, the Lukashenko blames victims and criticises infected health workers.
His reply inevitably hit his standing. Even Lukashenko’s fans now ask the question: Why has our president been fair? And if we expect more responsibility from him later on?
Lukashenko referenced demanding financial conditions as a motive for his reaction to this COVID-19 outbreak. Determined by whether the nation would possess a lockdown, he inquired:”What will we eat?” In 2020, in Belarus, this isn’t a rhetorical question.
On the topic of rhetoric, the president moved to a variety of rants from the run-up for this election. He’s threatened to curb peaceful demonstration with guns, he’s made derogatory remarks about women’s capacity to operate in politics and business. He’s been outrightly impolite towards presidential contenders, and illegally arrested peaceful demonstrators.
All that indicates that there is not much left from the presidential arsenal of people influence.
Unlike previously, Russian elites – obsessed, since they are, using their particular difficulties – haven’t provided any support to Lukashenko now around.
Russia has traditionally been a contributor into the current Belarusian authorities, however with economic connections between both nations tenser than Russia has deprived Lukashenko of much-needed financial aid in the moment when it’s needed most.
Young Belarusians are busy and need shift. Yesterday’s kids – the whole creation born after Lukashenko’s election 1994 – have reached voting age.
Meanwhile, the old generation, born at the 1940s-50s and traditionally encouraging the present president, is perishing. Propaganda tools dependent on the memory of WW2, of desire and jealousy, which was effective rallying cries for Lukashenko, don’t work with the newest creation.
The generation born from the 1960s-80s – frequently described as more apolitical – also appear to have reached the limit of their patience. A massive part of the electorate, this creation hasn’t voted, but their ballots are falsified on bulk and counted as votes for Lukashenko. This was the way the president was able to attain his 83percent of the electorate in previous surveys.
As society becomes more electronic, and it leaves no opportunity for conservative techniques of affecting public opinion. The government, who have employed traditional channels such as state TV and papers as their propaganda resources, has come up against the competition posed by new stations and social websites, which amounts to an avalanche of policy for its progressive electorate.
Lukashenko’s only alternative is via the use of aggression and force. The simple fact that his warnings aren’t empty bluster is now evident from the start of this effort. Two possible candidates, among whom has assembled millions of signatories to take part in the presidential elections, have been detained alongside countless journalists and supporters.
However, although we’re now closer than ever into a brand new chapter in the history of Belarus, there’s a last jump we will need to create: We will need to conquer the paralysing fear which has been systematically instilled into us within the past decades. The fear of becoming outspoken when everybody else is quiet. The fear of talking politics or perhaps mentioning the president’s title on the telephone.
The panic that’s always haunted uswherever we are.
Together with solidarity, we could overcome that fear for a nation. Our adventuresome buddies are partaking in Belarus, and we refuse to be silent . About the 25 June, we’ll visit the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus in London, along with 300 additional Belarusians, and talk against dangers, against violenceagainst arrests, ignorance and silence – and against dread.
The expectation is that as countless thousands of Belarusian men and women combine to state support for change, the fear dissipates not just for protesters but also for the Belarusian authorities, the sole column left of service Lukashenko’s regime. One by one, police officers are refusing to perform criminal orders. With daily shift in Belarus doesn’t only look likely, it seems inevitable.
_Aliaksandra Lamachenka is a activist and Belarussian citizen residing in London. _