19 November 2018, Monday, 13:23
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One At A Time!

57
Iryna Khalip

Or is it better to resist?

All of a sudden some of my friends have remembered words of Nadezhda Mandelshtam, which perfectly describes the current situation. And it's time to quote them: "We have never wondered why he is arrested, but there were few people like us. Being mad with fear people asked this question just for self-consolation: there's a reason to arrest those people, but I'm innocent! They were so creative in reasoning and explaining of every arrest - "She was a smuggler", "He was too brave to say..." and then "It was predictable, he's got a terrible temper", "I have always known that something is wrong with him", "He is alien"... Those phrases were enough to justify an arrest or destruction... These are variants of "alien" once voiced in 1917... Both the public and punitive bodies added fuel to keep that fire alive. That's why the question "Why is he arrested?" has become a forbidden one. "What for?!" Anna Andreyevna was furious to cry out when someone asked this question. It's time to learn that there is no reason..."

After the Chernobyl Shlyakh of 1996 Yury Khadyka and Vyachyslau Siuchyk were arrersted in Minsk. They were the first political prisoners of modern times. And many people sighed with relief - we are not members of the BPF, there's no reason for us to worry about.

A year later Aliaksei Shydlouski and Vadzim Labkovich were arrested for graffiti. And then the sigh of relief was heard: we do not paint the walls, we are sleeping at night. We are safe.

In 2006 when Aliaksandr Kazulin was jailed, many people thought that he was nuts trying to break into Lukashenka's meeting. And nothing of this kind will happen to us, we try to avoid both such meetings and cops.

In 2010 when we were jailed - presidential candidates, journalists, activists, relatives and friends - many people hung on by the skin of teeth. They said that those people were to blame for it. They are radicals and they called for a revolution and invited to join them in the Square. And if someone followed them, they are too blame; it's not our problem - my home is my castle.

Last year when the "white legion's case" was opened, there were some naive to think that the punitive machine would not catch them. These arrested guys are weird. One was selling books in Belarusian, second made embroidered t-shirts, and the third was fighting fires. No, we are safe; we do not play with matches.

And those who are still trying to cling to blue skies and pink unicorns have nothing to console themselves. Cause the argument "I do not know what this BelTA means" does not work. Now everyone, even the most stupid one, understands that BelTA has nothing to do with it. Official news feed of caramel and syrop was not interesting to anyone, including the very BelTA. And no excuses like "it will not happen to me" are heard. because it will. And now no one wonders "why?".

All of a sudden, we got united with Nadezhda Mandelshtam by the epoch. The year 1937 still has its power. It has just hidden behind a mop and spent several decades unmentioned. And now it has no use to hide anymore. And please, do not wonder "what for?". And "why?". Because the day of the week ends in “y”.

That 1937 was a usual one at first. Later historians seeking any sense in that blood madness tried to tie it to murder of Kirov of two years prior. In reality, they just broke into every house without a reason and arrested and then shot people dead. The reason was on paper - conspire against the Party, unauthorized access to BelTA and so on.

And there's no use to say that "they were detained, but now are released one by one." Ones are released, others are detained being deprived of laptops, phones and private correspondence. And if you have no "guests" yet, you just need to wait for a while. It may happen even tomorrow.

However, they are already here. They are waiting behind every door. One at a time!

Or it’s better to resist.

Iryna Khalip, especially for Charter97.org