22 January 2018, Monday, 23:23

Don’t stop boycott

More than 2000 independent observers all over the country have reported that the elections failed in Belarus!

According to the summary data of the observation, in Minsk only about 34% of the voters came to the elections; in all other Belarusian cities the number reached 43%.

The reason behind such a significant difference between these numbers and the official results of the “elections” (55% in Minsk and 75% in Belarus) is, first of all, the falsified protocols of the electoral commissions who nearly doubled the number of the votes. Second of all, the count of votes wasn’t transparent at any voting station.

But it’s not only the observers who reported extremely poor voting activity. Every voter who came to a voting station found it empty. Now we all know that the powers have faked the results of the “elections”.

By boycotting the fake elections, the people have shown the powers and the entire world that the Belarusians are not a cattle to be taken where the dictator and his servants please.

During the boycott campaign, several political forces formed an effective coalition: the Belarusian Christian Democracy, Belaruski Rukh, Malady Front, civil campaign European Belarus, the United Civil Party, Rada of Belarusian Intelligentia, and the trade union of radio and electronic industry. And today, after the boycott of the fake elections, we see that the majority of the people want changes!

What the real opposition called for, was exactly the same what most of the Belarusians who don’t trust the dictatorship felt. That’s how the boycott of the “parliamentary elections” was possible. But the boycott itself cannot change this regime that will fight for its privileges and money till the last breath.

In order to replace the dictator’s junta with the powers elected by the nation, we should keep the boycott of the dictator’s regime and all its institutions. And we should start with the lying state media and the state trade union that help the powers rob the people.

Boycott of the state media

According to independent social scientists, only 28% of Belarusians trust the state media, while the independent media have the trust of 32%.

At the same time, 64% watch the Belarusian TV (BT, ONT, STV etc); 2% watch BelSAT.

39% listen to the Belarusian state radio; 8% prefer independent channels (Radio Racja, Euroradio, Radio Svaboda, Deutsche Welle, Polskie Radio, BBC and Voice of America).

7% of Belarusians subscribe to the three central state periodicals (Sovietskaia Bielorussia, Respublika and Zviazda), while 1% subscribe to the four major non-governmental papers (Narodnaia Volia, Nasha Niva, Svobodnyie Novosti, Belorusy I Rynok).

However, on the Internet independent websites enjoy a much greater popularity than the state online media. For example, the websites charter97.org, Belarus Partizan, Belorusskie Novosti, Nasha Niva, Radio Svaboda, Solidarnost, BelaPAN, Narodnaia Volia, Euroradio and AFN have a daily audience of 3% Belarusians, while the state websites (BelTA, Sovietskaia Bielorussia, STV) – only 0,7%.

Within the boycott campaign of the state media, we should refuse to subscribe to the state media, and should promote independent media. Each supporter of democratic changes should make a contribution. If by the end of 2013 the number of viewers, listeners and readers of the state media become three times less, and the audience of the independent media becomes three times larger, we can say that the boycott succeeded.

Boycott of state trade unions

Today independent social scientists report that 27% of employable Belarusians trust state trade unions, while 34% trust independent trade unions. Meanwhile, officially 43% of the adult population are members of state trade unions, and only 4% belong to independent trade unions.

Nearly half of the members of state trade unions, 48%, are not satisfied with the state trade unions’ work. The majority of the members of free and independent trade unions, 86%, give a much higher esteem of the work of these trade unions and their leaders; only 7% are dissatisfied.

A spontaneous outflow of members from state trade unions began in the end of 2011 in different regions of the country. For example, 600 members left the union of the enterprise Granit in Mikashevichy, and 200 of them applied to join an independent trade union; 150 members left the union of the state-owned enterprise Pinskdriev.

The outflow can have different reasons, such as low salaries or humiliations from the management. The third reason is named today for the first time: the workers say that the state trade unions not only fail to protect their interests, but even participate in daily humiliations and pressure.

The key aspects of the boycott campaign of the state trade unions are constant criticism of the unions and promotion of the free and independent trade unions. Current members of free and independent trade unions, and all supporters of democratic changes in Belarus should join this campaign.

If by the end of 2013 1,5 mln members of the state trade unions (who have given a negative esteem to the unions’ activity) leave the unions, while half of them join the free and independent trade unions, we can say that this stage of the boycott succeeded.

Furthermore, in 2014 we can start boycott financial institutions and sources of the regime’s funding, but this stage can begin only after the boycott of the state media and trade unions is completed.

Viktar Ivashkievich for charter97.org