Only one picket

A series of socio-economic pickets were planned for 30 September. The activists asked permissions for 458 social pickets in 60 towns. The pickets were permitted only in Brest and Navahrudak. How were the permitted action held?

Brest town executive committee permitted the picket on Sunday from 3 till 5 p.m. on the stadium “Lakamatyu”, though the activists asked for more crowded places in the city center. How the picket on the stadium “Lakamatyu” went off.

“There were approximately 100 people. We had slogans “Reservation of social guarantees for children, handicapped, students, pensioners!”, “Hands off form the social guarantees for children, students, pensioners!” The activists gathered signatures as well. The people came up with interest, there were “Afghans” (who fought in Afghan), Fascism victims. We hadn’t any excesses”, — Leanid Maystruk, one of the organizers of the action said to “Radio Svaboda”.

The action was closely watched by the militia. They behaved unusually correct, Leanid Maystruk says:

“There were about 15 militiamen from Maskouski District Department of Internal Affairs and some KGB agents. They behaved correct; I didn’t notice any video-recording. They took some our news-papers, read them with interest, they said “we are also deprived of some privileges – free using of public transport, 6 additional days for holiday”.

But the permitted picket in Navahrudak wasn’t held.

“There is a sort of dump in the place where it was permitted to hold a picket. The summer cottages are near to that place, and there are no people. In other words, it is not a town. There is no scene to hold pickets there. The other reason – the whole circulation of the news-paper “Tovarishch” was arrested. There is no sense to come to picket with empty hands. The whole number of the news-paper was dedicated to the Social March. The authorities treated insidiously, but they made profit for themselves”’ – civil activist Anatol Ivanchyk said.

In some towns where the pickets were not permitted – in Svetlahorsk, Maryina Horka, Minsk –the militia detained the people spreading the news-paper “Tovarishch” and leaflets. But the gathering of the signatures against passing the law “about professional pension insurance” is going on. It is planned to pass the signatures to the House of Representatives deputies, who will have their regular session 2 October.