The Belarusian quality of life is approaching one in Africa.
Belarus has recently given more and more food for reflection for amateurs of a comparative analysis. On the one hand, mysterious wooden palaces for a lordly recreation in nature and data on $800 million in pockets of officials after state procurements. On the other hand, stories about families, for example, in Baranavichy who pick berries in a forest to be able to buy food. And the tax authorities who, for some reason, excel in inventing taxes from the second part of the population.
Does it remind you of a revolutionary situation or at least a persistent "incitement to a riot" on the part of the authorities? Journalists of Charter97.org asked a famous Belarusian activist, documentary film director Volha Mikalaichyk about it.
- What could you say about all these stories of ordinary Belarusians? Can we talk about a disastrous social gap in the country?
- All these cases of picking berries for survival, "three crusts of bread" for breakfast, lunch and dinner are clear to me. I almost live like this, like hundreds of thousands of ordinary people across the country.
And I keep reminding them and those who have not yet faced the economic crisis: we have a way out. It is very simple to participate in protests. Such a paradox: if you do not want to be abandoned by the authorities, you must take the streets and demand what belongs to us.
The authorities do not want to hear us and to voluntarily hold reforms for the sake of the future of the country. Well, let's remind them then in the streets that we will not be patient for long. Let us be active on social networks, while contacts with European officials, and, finally, with the UN.
Let them finally see that both political and social situation requires an urgent and immediate response. After all, the Lukashenka’s regime has turned us into a real "black Africa" in the center of Europe. Do Europeans need this in the midst of their prosperous continent?
The situation is that it will cause a break in "templates" of a European. They are in the neighbourhood of the state where children can eat ice cream only twice a month. This is not an exaggeration. This is what happens in the regions. My friend, independent journalist Kanstantyn Zhukouski told about "people's statistics" in the Homel region: ice cream - twice a month, juice or biscuits - once a week. It's time to ring the alarm in all international structures that the Belarusian quality of life is approaching to one in Africa.
Talented Belarusian children, as well as adults, do not live the life they do deserve. Villagers survive due to their gardens. Because salaries bit all time low in collective farms. How is it possible to live on 60 rubles a month?!
And the prices for products have long surpassed the European ones. I know it very well, I often go to Vilnius. Both there and in Bialystok one can buy things two or three times cheaper. It is now time to raise the issue of a physical survival of the Belarusians as the nation.
- You are a creative person known for your performances. What should be a response to make Drazdy dwellers hear us?
- If you talk about "spoiled soup" brought to the tax building, I remember this performance and believe it was successful. After having tasted this "soup" in the form of mass protests, the authorities "changed their minds" and stepped back. Decree No. 3 was frozen and they say that the money collected for "parasitism" will be returned.
As for today's situation, sorry for acridness, but I would bring a coffin straight to Drazdy. And I would put straw dolls there, just the way our ancestors did. And to write the way it was done to Stalin: "Thank you, Comrade Lukashenka, for our happy life!".
To let him see what these 23 years of his reign have led us to...
You mentioned the maneuver of the authorities with Decree No. 3. Do you believe that the decree will be finally abolished and the money will be returned?
- After our spring protests, the authorities began to move and pretended that they stepped back. But I keep saying that I do not believe in the humanity of the Lukashenka's power.
They will take from you in other place then. There are a lot of examples: tax on Holocaust victims, they threaten to impose "wealth tax" for owners of private houses...
The country is stormy from the economic collapse and Lukashenka's "money box" will be replenished by the tax authorities.
Therefore, I propose to go to the Ministry for Taxes and Duties with posters with images of lifelike "mausoleums" (I cannot call them houses and residences) of Lukashenka and his officials and demand confiscation of these "mausoleums". They'd better look for money there or just give them to the needs of Belarusian people unless angry people do this on their own. Because the situation is already reminds of one in Romania on the eve of their revolution, and Lukashenka is right to be called Lukashescu.