We offer a dialogue and a peaceful scenario of changes.
One of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress Mikalai Statkevich voiced Belsat the plan of action for the Freedom Day:
- We gather at 2 pm near the Academy of Sciences. The application has been filed, and there are applicants for the march to the centre of Minsk. I give a piece of advice to the authorities to respect the people's will, its constitutional right to the protest and authorize it. But if the government scares, and it is afraid of doing so, we will walk along the avenue, it is wide enough to do it. I think tens of thousands of people will be able to fit in there.
I think that the traffic police should stop the movement, they should think about safety, we will not be able to fit in on sidewalks. Let's walk along the avenue on Freedom Day! This is the day of striving for a normal life and this is the Independence Day.
So we will walk to the Nezalezhnastsi Square. The rally starts at the Academy of Sciences (on the side of the Academy) and we will take a resolution and then move towards the Square. On our way we will lay flowers near the building where independence was declared. And on the Square we will take a decision upon further steps to reach changes in a peaceful way.
I guess that people want peaceful changes now. But this requires efforts. There will be a need to take the streets many times, put pressure, seek concessions, make them talk to people. If the government behaves wrong, I am afraid that some people will choose other changes. I warn the government against it. You must give us the right to speak out and you must listen to us!
- Such calls for respect for the people have been made for years. We have no illusions; there is no respect on the part of the authorities. Aren't you afraid of or do you foresee any attempt of the authorities to act under experienced scenario of possible repressions? Is there any entailed resistance on the part of organizers?
- You know what? BT tries to make us scare, you do the same... (he laughs)
If there are a lot of us, nobody will touch us! Even if the road is blocked we will find a peaceful and safe way. Minsk is a big city, we will take a walk. There are many people. If 100-200 thousand people appear, that'll be respect! Everything depends on it. Therefore, I reiterate:
Belarusians! It's time to deal with this! 2 pm, March 25, Academy of Sciences, Minsk. On March 26, the following day, we gather on squares of your cities. Make them remember that they should serve us, not we.
- I would like to clarify on organizational moments. Is this scenario you've voiced in the beginning of our conversation brought into line with others?
- Claimants I spoke to agree that I take responsibility for the action. I'll talk to the others tomorrow. Everyone realizes that I have more opportunities because of my experience and because of my own, I am sorry, authority to carry out this action in a proper manner.
- We'd like to ask you to address live to various groups of the Belarusian population. Personally to Belarusians, to law enforcement bodies and to the present power.
- I suggest that the authorities also choose a peaceful scenario. If they don't, changes will come anywhere. But they'll pay a very high price for their actions. And those people who beat children will be brought to justice sooner or later. We still offer a dialogue! And don't try to cheat. All other options will be bad. They will also be bad for Belarus, so we still offer a dialogue.
- That was the address to the authorities. Could you now address to law enforcement bodies as an officer?
- I would like to turn to soldiers and officers who obey orders. You are given commands. It has led to an attack on children: idealists, daydreamers who believe that a class free society cam exist that one can live without a state, under self-rule. Let it happen someday. At briefing meetings you were told that these children were the worst offenders, destroy them!
You'd better think over! I'm not talking about conscience or honour. Those who did it have neither conscience nor honour. The cry is hopeless. But I'm saying that your comrade will be record all this. When the power is overthrown, all of this information will become public. We had this after the GKChP (State Committee on the State of Emergency) in 1991: as soon as telephone numbers were published, there was a wave of denunciations. And you may become a scapegoat and you will be treated in other way.
- And here is the address to Belarusians, possible participants of the rally.
- I can see the way the dignity of our people arise. The way Belarusians finally start treating themselves as human beings. Let's bring this work on recovery of the country to the end. It is not possible to hide. It affects everyone. If these people who have managed to ruin everything and who split in our faces through TV screens are not replaced we will deal with their "princes" and their descendants.
Nobody but us can do it. We should find courage, patience and do what we should do. We'll do it! Belarus will be free! Power to the people! Long Live Belarus!
- Live Forever! Thank you very much for the interview.