Belarusians need to pay a little effort to finally live a normal life.
Activist of the European Belarus civil campaign Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk stated this in an interview with Charter97.org as she commented on the recent “election campaign”, and the current political situation in our country.
- Your campaign during the “election” was one of the most striking, and your video message on BT literally “blew up” the Internet: more than 40 thousand people watched it on the Charter’97 YouTube channel alone. What did you feel when you spoke on television throughout the country that Lukashenka should leave?
- I felt a very big responsibility for every word I said. Therefore, each word was verified. After all, there was also a limit of 5 minutes. And in these 5 minutes it was necessary to say the words capable of breaking through this wall, which was built over the years of dictatorship. Therefore, I felt a huge responsibility for what needed to be said.
- Do you think your words broke through this wall?
- Of course, I felt the resonance from this performance and feel it now. For example, at the recent rallies in Minsk, strangers who recognized me came up, shook hands with me, and said: “Thank you very much, we watched your speech on television or on YouTube. You are very brave and we respect you for that. It’s very good that there are people like you - we now have hope. ”
For many, this performance was like a “breath of air”. Not that these people did not know that there is a dictatorship in Belarus, what’s important is that these words were clearly spoken. The words that many people think to themselves, but are afraid to say them out loud. And so - they were said. Moreover, they were told on dictatorial television. Of course, this is amazing.
- In addition to this speech, there was also a three-month campaign in the streets - yours and your colleagues by the European Belarus. How do you assess it?
- The strongest impression is that people went out to the square and said what was already hanging in the air in Belarus: Lukashenka should leave.
Someone is still afraid to say this, but there are people who took the first step - they said it. Loudly, calling a spade a spade, without insults. And even for those who did not participate in the campaign and did not say these words, it made the impression that they expressed their thoughts. We were all on the same wave these days and felt that we really were the majority.
I evaluate this political campaign as one of the most striking since the campaign of 2010, it was comparable to it in the mass character, and resonance. Perhaps it was one of the most brilliant campaigns that could be given in response to the dull scenarios of the dictatorship.
The campaign was so vivid because we understood that we had to use every day, which gives a possibility to come out, so we understood that every minute was worth its weight in gold and, without thinking for a long time what to talk about, we found the most necessary words. Therefore, the campaign turned out to be so bright and inspiring.
- The European Belarus completed this campaign of the active boycott of the “election” with Meetings of Free People in the center of Minsk, a march along the Independence Avenue, and the burning of certificates near the Central Election Commission. What do you think of these final accords?
- This was how I imagined the end of our campaign: we will not bargain with Yarmoshyna for the two percent that she will draw not for her candidates.
I wanted to call on all the independent candidates to end their campaign on that day, November 16, by burning their registration certificates. Such a finale really looks worthy. We showed that we play by our own rules. We did what we and our country needed, and made it clear that we would not expect that they would make up some figures for us.
We showed that we can seize the initiative and play the game according to our own rules. It is quite logical for me that the campaign should have ended like this. I personally burnt my candidate’s ID, and then my colleagues did the same, and I welcome the fact that in the dictatorial country the opposition showed: we will play according to our own rules.
- And how do you assess the reaction of the authorities to the game of the European Belarus, according to your rules?
- I am not a specialist in psychiatry to make diagnoses, since it is the psychiatric diagnosis that is already obvious with regard to all this power.
But if you say in the most ordinary words, then this is the reaction of people in whose head the Soviet Union has not yet collapsed. They continue to live in the slightly adjusted, frayed Soviet Union into which they want to turn Belarus.
It is this impression that arises when you come to their commissions and offices. Furniture that was in use 30-40 years ago, and the same disk phones that were used 30-40 years ago. Near them, as 40 years ago, there are women from the past who are members of the commissions, and at the same time do not know the answer to any question. For each question, they pick up the receiver of this retro telephone, and call more important falsifiers for instructions.
The impression is that you see living dinosaurs in front of you. They crawled out of some Mesozoic swamp, and sat in the offices - that’s the impression. This is a kettlebell on Belarus’s legs, which pulls us back into the past, trying to artificially delay time.
They themselves are the terrible past, revived in an incomprehensible way. They continue to live in some kind of 1979 and do not even navigate what is happening in the world in which new electric cars appear, and ships go to Mars and Pluto. There is no real thing for them. And with these people there is no future for us. They are going to deprive Belarusians of the future, as in fairy tales, when old people steal time and youth from young people.
- More and more Belarusians are opposed to Lukashenka nominating for the next term, and demand the dictator should leave. Why is it important to prevent him from another term at power?
- I’ll note right away that this is not the first Lukashenka’s statement on the topic that if “the people ask,” he will not go for the next term and will quit altogether. We well remember that he did not do anything of this kind, since he has his own separate “people” represented by Yarmoshyna.
I believe that a flash mob with video is good, but the main thing is to go to the Square and demand it loud, so that he would hear it in Drazdy. The call of the people: “Go away!” must reach Drazdy. Then, perhaps, he will hear, otherwise not, he has cotton wool in his ears.
Why should he leave? Because he should. Because he has no support among the people now, for many years. And lately he has been lost even that small part of the electorate that supported him. And the new generation simply does not perceive him.
Young Belarusians (and not only young ones) travel around Europe, see how people live, what kind of transport they use, in what stores they shop, how they spend their free time. And when they return to Belarus, they feel like a person who comes home from a five-star hotel - and he is offered to live in a shabby, sloppy “slum”.
Lukashenka’s regime is the same dilapidated “slum” that has not been repaired for 60 years, and which we are offered to live in. A modern person can no longer live in such a “slum”, which needs repairs, the change of floors, walls, or total redevelopment.
But Lukashenka doesn’t understand this, and he himself became like that old, shabby, clogged slum with a sunken floor. He is mentally aged, he himself is a lizard from the Mesozoic swamp, the same as his officials involved in the rigging of elections.
And these dinosaurs from the Mesozoic swamp are pulling Belarus backwards - not that from the level of the United States of America and advanced countries, but even from those countries that were in the socialist camp. Poland, Hungary, even the Baltic countries that were in the Soviet Union - Belarus lags behind all of them, and very expressively.
Lukashenka is practically the last representative of the very same Soviet Komsomol members who, with the last effort, with “blue fingers”, as he said, are clutching for power, trying to survive with the help of cheap energy from the “center”.
And Belarusians can no longer stand in this Soviet “slum”, while all normal people already live in modern apartments.
- In your televised address to the Belarusian nation, you said that the coming year will be decisive. Why? What are the features of the current situation in Belarus?
- We saw that next year is the point at which a lot of historical lines will converge. This also includes the line by which Russia wants to press in this regime and absorb Belarus. It is also that Lukashenka wants to “re-elect” himself once again ad infinitum.
And of course, Belarusians need to pay a little effort, and turn the tide of history, to kick away this Mesozoic pangolin, to live a normal life in the end of the day.
I believe that it is extremely important to prevent Russia from taking over our country, so we will not wait for the repeat of the end of the 18th century or 1939. We know what is happening in Ukraine, we see what is happening in Georgia, how Russia is establishing its “order” there. We do not want this, and it depends on us to prevent this from happening.