Every Sunday Lyudmila Karcheuskaya comes to the central square of Brest.
Lyudmila Karcheuskaya is the only teacher who goes to the square in Brest to protest against the battery plant. She was tried twice for participation in rallies, but it does not stop her.
In an interview with Salidarnasts, Lyudmila Paulauna tells her reasons which brought her to the square, why other teachers pay her lip service and do not rush to follow her example, and how she felt when she heard the false testimony of the police at the trial.
- About 30 years ago, my husband and I got an apartment in the village of Thelma. We were happy to know that our children would breathe fresh air. There is a forest near the river," Lyudmila Karcheuskaya recalls.
She couldn't imagine that the construction of the battery plant would begin not far from her home.
- I did not know about this project before the meeting in the village. The hall was full and people were even standing in the doorway. That was the first time when I heard about the health and environmental hazard posed by the battery plant. The organizers of the meeting and representatives of the enterprise probably thought that old people would gather and shout "no to the plant" and that's all. But they were wrong. The management of the plant could not answer questions of people who were convincing because they used calculations and information about such enterprises.
After the meeting, Lyudmila Paulauna started going to the square in Brest to learn the latest news about the plant:
- I'm very surprised the square misses mothers. I have five grandchildren. My granddaughter lives 800 meters away from the plant. I understand why pensioners do not come: they do not read the news on the Internet. But why do young people who know what is going on ignore their maternal instincts?
... My mother and uncle died of cancer. My sister had cancer. In December, we buried her grandson, who was only 18 years old.
He was taken to Baraulyany on Monday and died on Friday. When he was brought home, there were tears on his face. I used to be an atheist, but after that story, I believed that the human soul lived.
Sick children and grandchildren are the worst that may happen. Therefore, every Sunday I come to the square. They discuss the actions that are being taken. The state media do not write about it. We will learn the truth from activists.
I have been tried twice for participation in public and political events. But there is no politics on the square. It's only the fight for the environment. I want my grandchildren to breathe clean air, to eat strawberries, not to be sick.
If the country needs the plant, take it to the Chernobyl zone. Let people who want to earn money go there.
Lyudmila Paulauna is the only teacher who comes the square to protest against the battery plant. According to her, her colleagues support her but do not dare to join because of the contract system.
- I'm retired and cannot be fired. Many people don't come to the square in order not to lose their jobs," Lyudmila Karcheuskaya said. - If you lose a job, you may work as a cleaning lady and earn some money. But I don't want to see children's disease. I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.
Lyudmila Paulauna meets her former pupils in the square, goes to court to support them.
- I consider those who come to the square patriots. The initiative group is real life heroes. They could have given up the fight and left. I have repeatedly heard them saying: "How will I look my children in the eye? Why should I leave my home? They care about everything. These people long for better.
Lyudmila Paulauna believes that one person cannot influence the government in our country. She knows that the number of people who oppose the launch of the battery plant exceeds the number of those who come to the square.
- There are many of us, just not everybody can come. I know that lawyers, economists help the initiative group. People are united. My friends and those who come to the square help me to pay fines.
I say that it's not scary to come to the square, it's worse to see what awaits us. Money can do much, but rich people die as well.
Last Friday Lyudmila Paulauna was fined 510 rubles for participation in the event:
- I did nothing wrong. There is no sign on the square saying that communication is not allowed there. Savetskaya street is a pedestrian street. I was walking. Therefore, I believe that the detention was illegal. I told the judge that my civic position remained unchanged, and I could look my grandchildren in the eye, but I did not know how he would do the same.
The judge said we had not permission for the event. I responded that we had submitted a lot of applications, but were rejected. So many applications were submitted to the head of the Brest Regional Executive Committee Anatoli Lis for a year and a half... He has recently matured to meet with the initiative group.
According to Lyudmila Paulauna, the policeman said in court that she was walking in a column and shouted: "No to the plant!"
- The judge offered to watch the video. I asked him later whether I was shouting.
But the judge referred to the words of the policeman, who claimed that I was.
- Is it okay that he is a perjurer? the woman is outraged. - I am a teacher with 24 years of experience and the judge believes a policeman. It is a shame.
Lyudmila Paulauna believes that some policemen see the danger posed by the plant.
- I can see it in their eyes when I talk to them when they listen to activists in the square. The worst thing is when you meet those who detain people and enjoy it," the interlocutor sums up.