1 December 2020, Tuesday, 14:08
Sim Sim, Charter 97!
Categories

Gazeta Wyborcza: The Situation in Belarus Is a Big Fire in a Peat Bog

10
Gazeta Wyborcza: The Situation in Belarus Is a Big Fire in a Peat Bog
PHOTO: AP

At any time, the fire can break out again in the least expected place.

Although two months have passed since the explosion of protests provoked by the rigged presidential elections, Belarus is not calm down, writes the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza.

Minsk is fighting, although the rest of the country, as it seems to many, has already been conquered. Actually, the example of the capital makes people in the regions take to the streets too. As long as the protests in Minsk continue, people on the periphery will also look up to them, despite the threats of arrest.

"But if someone, looking at the changes in the regions, thinks that the Belarusians have come to terms with Lukashenka's regime and the situation is returning "to normal," then this is a big mistake. The situation in Belarus can now be compared to a big fire on a peat bog. There doesn't seem to be any fire on the surface: a bit of smoke, a bit of fume. To an outside observer, it seems that nothing extraordinary is happening. But the fire is burning inside, burning out and changing the internal structure of the peat bog," the newspaper writes.

It doesn't take much effort to see this Belarusian reality, invisible at first glance. One small gesture, some reason is enough, and discontent becomes public. The expression of this discontent is taking place without regard to the fact that the power advantage is on Lukashenka's side.

The fact that the authorities can suppress street protests, but cannot change the attitude of Belarusians towards the regime, was once again confirmed last week. On Thursday in Hrodna, the organization Belaya Rus, loyal to Lukashenka, organized a rally in support of the AMAP. Several women with flags visited the security forces' barracks. In their hands, they held a poster with the slogan: "Work, brothers!" - and also two large cakes.

A treat for the AMAP was prepared to order. The cakes had inscriptions on them: "We thank the AMAP for peace and quiet" and "You are our honor, together we are strong."

"The AMAP of the city of Hrodna was touched. For the first time, such a large group of people came to thank the workers and morally support them in times of hard work," the press service of the security department said.

But, as it turned out, organizing such a "gratitude" was not easy. One of the participants of the action told about it. Not a single company in the city wanted to make a cake for the AMAP.

"We tried to order a cake with state symbols in one of the coffee houses in Hrodna. We were refused. Let's ignore this coffee house!" a woman wrote in one of the chats of Lukashenka's regime supporters, pointing out that an institution called Lyubov Tortova refused to fulfill the order.

The message went viral online. But calls for a boycott backfired. The cakes in the coffee house quickly sold out. And even after that, crowds of people came to "Lyubov Tortova" and made orders.

Residents of Hrodna would also like to know who baked cakes for the AMAP. But after the situation with "Lyubov Tortova," this information is now kept secret. Each company now understands that any manifestation of loyalty to Lukashenka and AMAP will result in problems for business. The fact that Lukashenka's supporters are forced to hide their views amid the decline in protests in Hrodna speaks volumes about public sentiment.

Firefighters know that putting out a peat bog fire is not easy. At any time, the fire can break out again in the least expected place. The situation is the same with the mood in Belarus. And the AMAP with their truncheons will not help here.