23 September 2019, Monday, 4:32
We are in the same boat
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Iryna Khalip: My Inborn Optimism Tells Me It’s Time To Act

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Iryna Khalip: My Inborn Optimism Tells Me It’s Time To Act
Iryna Khalip

People need to be explained that there are many of us.

Renown Belarusian journalist Iryna Khalip announced her participation in the political campaign this fall, with the European Belarus civil campaign. Her initiative group has been registered in the Partyzanski electoral district #110 in Minsk.

Iryna Khalip has told about her decision in an interview with the Charter97.org news website.

- Why have you decided to take part in the “electoral campaign” in the first place?

- Let us clarify certain wordings first.

We cannot speak about the “electoral campaign”, because there are no “elections” in our country. We cannot speak about the “parliamentary campaign”, because we don’t have an acting, legitimate “parliament” as a legislative power branch.

I would word it the following way: I am participating in a political campaign. And I do this because I have had enough watching everything that is happening around.

The situation in Belarus is deteriorating every year, the “parasites” decree, the law “on postponements”, some ridiculous fantasies about an “IT-country” and Elon Musk, in which Tesla cars get materialized and gifted in Drazdy. Something absolutely absurd is happening in the country.

Well maybe it would be enough to stay an ordinary journalist, write columns, ridicule what is going on, or, on the contrary, uncover things. But I see that the people have actually lost hope, not totally, but this feeling of hopelessness is getting stronger every day.

My inborn optimism does not let me put up with the situation staying the same or getting worse.

Moreover, the threat to Belarus’s independence has become more serious than ever. If earlier - three, five, ten years ago - they spoke of this as a hypothetical threat, but now everything has become completely obvious. In this situation, it’s simply no longer possible to sit and be silent, or to sit and talk - the time has come to act.

People need to be awakened. People need help. People need to be explained that they are not alone. There are many of us - those who are not happy with what is happening. We must be together, and together we will make a difference - one cannot succeed.

Therefore, I decided that for me this is a chance to participate in our common political campaign, which should awaken the people. I understand that maybe not this year, maybe next year - or maybe even in the fall or winter - we will have to get together and change all this. I really want this to happen.

- You are participating in a political campaign together with the European Belarus civil campaign. Many political forces, including European Belarus, in the past “elections” were supporters of an active boycott. What has changed this time and how will this political campaign differ from the previous one?

- First of all, the situation in the country has changed. We just have to change our approaches, strategy and methods depending on the situation.

Three years ago, nothing was possible except an active boycott: in 2016, the situation was completely different. And during the previous campaign, I myself was one of the main supporters of the boycott.

At that time, the boycott was the only possible method, but now it is not. Moreover, not all then understood that a boycott does not mean ignore. A boycott is an active, massive, protest campaign that involves working in the streets, resistance: gathering in the city instead of going to the polling station or gathering near the precinct demonstrating that there are a lot of people and they are boycotting, they don’t go inside.

In any case, the current situation gives no possibility to succeed without the street activity. And the political campaign of European Belarus is the same street activity that should not stop today. Until the very change in the situation in our country.

- Today at 15.00, your picket will be held to collect signatures near the Tractor Plant in Minsk. What would you like to say to people who might be around?

- I would like to say: today in the country there are those conditions when we all need to become a little more active. At least a little bit. I cannot demand anything or call people anywhere. But at least take part in the political campaign, support us.

Minimum - put a signature. Maximum - join our team. We are really looking forward to this. We must change the situation in the country.