22 June 2018, Friday, 19:45

Natallia Papkova: Our Goal Is Total Abolishment Of Scandalous ‘Social Parasites’ Decree


By the middle of autumn, people will be ready to go to the Square.

This year will be remembered by the "Outraged Belarusians’ Marches", which were held all over the country. The catalyst for mass protests was the decree on "parasites". Thousands of Belarusians took on to the streets of their cities to say "Basta".

The frightened authorities backpedalled and promised that they would not charge money this year. But on August 3, Lukashenka said that by October 1, an updated Decree #3 should appear. The "parasites" returned to the agenda.

The website Charter97.org asked head of the Brest organization of the Belarusian Social Democratic Party "People’s Assembly" Natallia Papkova, who is always in the epicenter of protests, what to expect from the second coming of the Decree # 3, and whether we should wait for new actions of the outraged Belarusians.

— The Decree #3 was returned, as we should have expected. Moreover, with such remarks as Lukashenka’s “take a shovel in your teeth and work”. How do the Brest residents react to this? Should we expect new protests of the “parasites”?

— Yes, new demonstrations and actions are to happen. In fact, our initial goal was not suspending the scandalous Decree #3, but the full abolishment thereof. The date for the new action on the abolishment of the “social parasites” decree has been set — the Outraged Belarusians’ March-2 will be held on October 20. Generally speaking, the protests will go on.

— The authorities made many poorly thought steps by the autumn: they returned an absurd tax, the communal tariffs are constantly growing. What do residents of Brest think about such a chain of events?

— If we talk about the communal services fees, the people are extremely discontent with their constant growth. Even more of their outrage is fueled by widespread corruption in the housing and communal services. People say that the chairmen of houses, housing maintenance services are building their own accommodation, but at the same time prices are rising not only for electricity, gas, water, but also for capital repairs.

In general, Brest residents are very unhappy and I think that by the middle of autumn people will be ready to go to the Square.