22 April 2018, Sunday, 5:40

Mikalai Statkevich: We Must Show Our Determination To Authorities On Freedom Day


Our present force is equal to the amount of people getting together on March 25 and 26.

One of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress has appealed to the Belarusians:

– If you want to defend something that belongs to you – just do it. No complaints or disputes in the social networks will help. First, it’ s important to show your strength and determination.

A month ago, over 5 thousand people gathered in the center of Minsk and demanded the authorities should abolish the “social parasites” decree, stop the robbery of the people and return the real elections. The protesters gave the authorities a month and decided to meet again on March 25. These demands have been supported by thousands of people across the country in the squares of their towns and cities. The authorities were frightened, tried to wiggle out, but did not fulfill the demands of the people. It's understandable – thousands of people on the streets can scare the government, but cannot make it submit. They have more police.

On March 25, we must show the authorities our strength and determination. Our present force is equal to the number of people who will get together this day in Minsk and the next day in the other cities. It is also important to march to the center of the capital in order to show our determination and defend our rights, to allow as many people as possible to see our protest and join us.

At 2 p.m. on March 25 we will hold a demonstration at the Academy of Sciences, adopt a resolution and go to the Independence Square. After all, Freedom Day is also a holiday of our country's independence. In the square, we will decide how to proceed. It will depend on our strength. Of course, if there are, for example, 100 thousand people in the square, then we can stand and not leave until the authorities give in and start a dialogue with the people. If there are significantly less people, then we will have to come out again and again, until our strength grows and becomes sufficient to make the government reckon with it. The inept, corrupt and irresponsible government will only ensure the growth of the number of protesters.

Peaceful changes require considerable efforts of the whole society. We will decide on March 25 in the square, when we will gather in the center of Minsk andf other cities again.

The authorities also understand this. Due to their difficult situation, they cannot imply openly brutal actions against peaceful demonstrations. The authorities know that then they will fall under the international sanctions again. Therefore, they do everything to reduce the strength of the demonstrators - their quantity. They use intimidations, prosecutions of organizers of protests, slander of the bootlicking Belarusian Television and other mass-media against them. Political and Internet trolls have been activated, as well as the authorities’ "useful idiots". False information and rumors are being spread. Now we see who is who. The goal of the slanderers is obvious - to reduce the strength and organization of the protest. Do not give in to them. Let's fight back.

To show our confident determination and force, to hold our march decently, peacefully and safely, we should be well-organized and have a single leadership. The Belarusian National Congress remains the only real organizer of the march, is preparing the bodyguard for guarding the public order during the action. The BNC leaders, among whom there are the people famous and respectable in our country and abroad – Stanislau Shushkevich, Uladzimir Niakliaeu, Andrei Sannikov, Henadz Fiadynich and others – trusted me with leading the march of March 25.

If we want to make the boorish authorities listen to the people, we should show the people’s strength.

Let’s come out and they will see that there are many of us and we are the united force. That they should serve us, not vice versa. The whole world will be watching us.

Let’s say “Basta!” to them at 2 p.m. on March 25 near the Academy of Sciences.

Power to the people!

Long Live Belarus!