The time is bleeding off the clock for Lukashenka.
About a year ago, Belarusians took an active part in mass protests against Decree No. 3. Then the government had to retreat and freeze the decree. And now the decree on "parasites" is back under a different number and name: it determines the categories of those who will fall under its provisions, and their obligations.
One of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress, the coordinator of the civil campaign European Belarus Yauhen Afnahel explains to Charter97.org what can happen due to the "reincarnation" of the Decree on "parasites."
– The popular saying goes: "The scalded dog fears cold water." A year ago, Lukashenko scalded himself on "parasits" protests. Why was it necessary to "resurrect" the scandalous decree?
Today's Belarusian power and common sense are generally incompatible concepts. But from the point of view of logic – the logic of the development of any dictatorship – the introduction of Decree No. 1 was to be expected. Regimes like the one in Belarus have two ways of development at a critical moment. The first is sit at the round table with the opposition and agree on the reforms. This is how dictators, who think about their future and the future of the country, act. Their less smart and self-confident "colleagues" go the other way — they tighten the nuts until the thread is ripped off. Despite the fact that at some point this choice seems logical to them, it always leads to social explosion and chaos.
As we see, the authorities are not ready to take the first way. So, the regime will try to expand its control over absolutely all spheres of people's lives. Blocking of the sites, the fight against independent media and journalists, the prohibition of demonstrations, police lawlessness, a new "decree on parasites" are links of one chain, which can only be broken by the resistance of society. If it does not follow, there will be next steps. And do not think that the authorities will limit themselves only to the opposition, "parasites" or a couple of sites. They need total control over the whole society.
— Hundreds of thousands of Belarusians have to work in Russia. Many work without documents and fall under the Decree № 1. Once, in 2014, Putin tried to use the social and economic problems of Ukraine in his game, saying that he would take Ukrainian "zarobitchan" (workers) in Russia, who can be taken into the army at home, under his protection. What is the probability that the Kremlin can use the "parasits card" against independence of Belarus?
— In fact about a million Belarusians work in Russia. With the beginning of the construction season, small towns, especially in the east of the country, become deserted — most healthy men leave for work abroad. The decree will affect them most.
It is unlikely that the Kremlin will use the "parasits card". First, Putin, like Lukashenko, is afraid to rely on the people, does not trust them. Let me remind you that the occupation of the Crimea and part of the Donbass was performed by the Russian military, the local residents hardly participated in this operation.
Secondly, the Kremlin has enough "cards" in Belarus, which it has been successfully using against our country for more than 20 years already. On the contrary, the people who go on social protests under national flags, as it was last year, can be the decisive factor which will scare off a potential aggressor.
— Many people say that under the guise of a decree, mass data collection about Belarusians begins. Can this data be used in a wrong way?
— And what will be the "right way" to use it? The collection of this information by some unknown people is already illegal. No one can force you to give your data to anyone. The boycott of Lukashenka's commissions, consisting of punitive organs, local administrations and official organizations, is enough to decimate Decree No. 1.
— What are the weakest points and contradictions of the decree? Will it be implemented?
– Let the people who invented the decree look for its weaknesses and contradictions. And I advise to start looking for them now, because the dictator will have to appoint the ones to blame for them. The time is bleeding off the clock for Lukashenka. And I advise those officials who think that they will be able to fool the people to travel by bus during rush hour or go to a plant checkpoint to listen to the conversations. Then they will be able to predict it quite quickly what reaction to the decree there will be and against whom it will be directed.
People are not blind or stupid. They know perfectly well that the main parasites hide behind high fences of elite closed settlements that have grown up on the outskirts of almost every city and town. The correlation between these new feudal lords’ prosperous life and the tribute they lay on the population of the country is also evident. Therefore, I do not rule it out that street protests against the authorities' extortion will end in Drazdy.
And make no mistake, the new decree will not work. The Belarusians already have the experience of canceling such documents. But conversations in kitchens and in transport or angry comments in social networks are not enough. We must actively resist the illegal actions of the authorities, and first of all – gather like-minded people, disseminate truthful information and participate in protest rallies. Solidarity is our main weapon in the fight against injustice.