There are two news. Both are good this time.
But first I'd like to quote famous German pastor Martin Niemöller who tried to explain the inaction of German intellectuals and their non-resistance to the Nazis:
When the came for the Communists, I didn't speak out because I was not a Communist.
When they came for the Jews, I didn't speak out because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I didn't speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak up for me.
Here comes the first news - they have already come for you.
Why is it good? Because this time you do not have to wait that you'll be able to escape. Everyone will face it: teachers, entrepreneurs, officials, businessmen, workers, spongers, peasants, bankers, IT specialists, pensioners, builders, sportsmen, doctors, patients, parents, children, even policemen who do not want to be shunyavki (cops). The list is long and comprehensive. You are definitely enlisted. Hence, there are no longer those who could speak up for you. It's time to speak up for yourself.
There are some people who speak up for everyone. They are some opposition members, journalists, patriots, wives, mothers, sisters. They have been constantly persecuted for 20 years alresdy. They are killed, kidnapped, beaten up, but they persistently tell the truth, which is universal for everyone. And the protection is aimed at everyone. You have a little left to do: to join this truth and, finally, speak up for yourself. To join without thinking that you may be out of all this and everything will be fine.
No, it won't. It will be even worse, if we let them "troll" the nationwide disaster, if we believe that these are "quick-fix problems", but not final diagnosis to the gang who's seized the power and hates us for us to feed them, let them humiliate us and do not feel pleasure for it.
The second good news: spring happened in Belarus!
After a long winter, after a shivering darkness, after the fading belief that the cold will disappear, it has come. First, in people's mood, then in the nature. Moreover, people’s sentiments have made the nature recognize the spring-coming, the inviolability of the laws of the universe.
Many people around "hid themselves in fur coats and raised their collars", but the Belarusians were crying for the spring in the mid February. Frosts that lasted since 2010 began to lose their strength.
The true spring is not dandelions and daisies. It when the ice cracks, when plantlings break the asphalt to see the sun, when the mud is washed away with spring downpours. The spring is the time when this seemingly endless cold spurs people on to change something to make the true spring come.
Perhaps, it is the first time when people have come to the streets in Belarus since the beginning of the 90s.
"That'll Do!", "Go away!" broke frozen rivers and gave the way to "Long Live Belarus!"
Minsk, Hrodna, Mahilyou, Homel, Brest, Vitsebsk, Orsha, Maladzechna, Babruisk, Mozyr, Pinsk, Baranavichy, Rahachou, Ivye, Svetlahorsk, Luninets, Slonim, Polatsk. The dictatorship has faced such geography of protests for the first time. Those who have always spoken out are in the forefront. There are hundreds of them across the country, but this is the ground our true independence is based on. They are those who keep Belarus independent.
Dozens, hundreds of such patriots - wise, modern, self-sacrificing and strong - joined them during protests. Then there were hundreds and thousands of them. You've eye-witnessed the very continuity in the fight for freedom which is the guarantor of the future victory.
And again an unprecedented thing happened. For the first time Lukashenka showed his fear not related with the "elections" he organized, but with protests we take part in. It happens in times when the opposition is allegedly under control and his hybrid mass media are created, and the West is persuaded that he is the main resister to the Putin regime. The only thing he is asking for is money. And here "That'll Do!" is chanted. It caused an emotional upset and he had the "Patriot case" framed.
Please note that Lukashenka ordered to frame the preparation of an armed seizure of power on the eve of dispersal of protests on Freedom Day. The order for dispersal was already given, but it needed an "excuse". This permanent beggar understood that the police lawlessness would destroy his chances of Western money, and played dumb saying that the dispersal of protests so that they would not kill him. This lie captured several dozens of patriots who are being tortured behind bars.
He has allegedly managed to bring down protests, intimidate people and find terrorists. And here comes the rise of the Krycheu police. They raised against their management, the lawlessness, in fact, they joined protests. It was worth crying "The police are with the people!". They began to side with the people's protest. And this indicates the profound nature of rejection of insolent authorities.
We had the slogan "Time to choose! It's time to clean up!" during the presidential elections in 2001. . We had some hope that our votes would be taken into account. And most of them were already against Lukashenka. We hoped that we could promote our own candidate and remove the collective farm authorities.
Today this slogan is again relevant, but with a different order of words:
It's time to remove this authority and choose our government!
Andrei Sannikov, Leader of the European Belarus Campaign, for Charter97.org