In the event of a nationwide strike, his regime would not last even a week.
One of the leaders of the strike committee of Belaruskali, Dzmitry Kudzelevich, in an interview with Charter97.org, spoke about the effect a nationwide strike can have after the expiration of the term of Lukashenka's People's Ultimatum.
- How do you assess the People's Ultimatum, which expires on October 25?
- I believe that the time has really come to sort things out. The time is ripe to come to some kind of conclusion. Judging by the mood that is now dominant in society, everyone was waiting for this moment.
This ultimatum is like a command to fight. Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya calls on us to a peaceful protest, but we must be ready for any development of events. We must be ready for active resistance as well. People who are provided with work, who are used to going to it every day, should be ready for this day. And must cease any commercial and industrial activity on October 26. We must understand that at this moment, from October 26, personal responsibility for each of us also comes. Therefore, each worker has a few more days to make a decision. And I hope that this decision will be the support of the People's Ultimatum.
- You called the ultimatum the command for the battle that many were waiting for. What should a specific combat unit for which you are responsible - the Belaruskali employees - do?
- Yes, indeed, our marshal gave orders for the army. And then specific teams for its divisions should go.
On Sunday, October 25, we will have a traditional March. Then comes the 26th, 00:00 o'clock - I emphasize that the ultimatum expires at exactly midnight. The enterprise where I worked for 20 years - JSC Belaruskali - works on a round-the-clock schedule. Therefore, the first people to go on the night shift should be the pioneers. It is necessary that every citizen working at the enterprise, every employee of OJSC Belaruskali, sees himself as a leader and makes an early decision. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once said: "After thinking, make up your mind, when you decide, don't think."
The 26th is coming - and every miner may not go to work, stay at home and go to the Square in the morning, and on the Square that day we also have to get together. Or such an option: to go to work and write a written statement addressed to the general director in connection with the declared Republican strike. Write the following words: "I join the strike and join the strike committee." This, at a minimum, will subsequently provide people with legal protection. This document will end up in the strike and will be filed in the folder of all acts, all documents, according to the regulations of which the strike takes place. And no matter how the events unfold, the strike participant will sooner or later be reinstated even if he is dismissed from the enterprise. We will definitely achieve our goal - it's only a matter of time.
Therefore, my vision of the strike at Belaruskali is as follows: in the morning of October 26, you do not start work, but in a written statement you say that I, Ivanov Petr Sergeevich, support Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya's demands, join the general strike and declare myself a member of the strike committee.
- How else can workers resist illegal government? Even before the ultimatum was announced, the miners of Belaruskali were handcuffed underground...
- The protest act of Yury Korzun and Aleh Kudelka is a wonderful act. Effective, correct, and very heroic. But, in my opinion, on October 26, the whole of Belarus expects tough actions towards the authorities and somewhat different actions. All these above-mentioned acts, I mean to go down into the mine and fasten yourself, are all protests of a more demonstrative nature. I am not belittling their importance, God forbid... All this is very correct and very true.
But now another time has come. I believe that until August 26, it was possible to express your protest in different ways: by Italian strikes (when you come to the workplace but do not fulfill your obligations), strikes in the classical sense (when people gather on the territory of their enterprise, write their demands and submit them to the administration), bright protest strikes. But, as they say, "a stitch in time saves nine."
On the 26th, we have to come and, classically, according to all the rules, will join the National strike. That is: do not work, stop production, stop the technological process. Cause maximum economic harm to the current illegal government.
- What should workers of smaller enterprises or office workers do, where there are still no strike committees and other structures necessary for a classic strike?
- I will answer this question with an example from the city of Salihorsk, where not all workers of Belaruskali are on the strike committee, but at the same time, there are employees of other enterprises.
The same applies to any individual entrepreneur, as an independent unit, and those enterprises where so far there is only a headquarters of several people. This means that people just need to join any asset of any enterprise, any group of activists of any protest movement in their city. If they keep some kind of documentation, let them officially introduce those people to their team. If they do not maintain any documentation, they can just stick together because, according to physics, smaller particles must join larger ones.
- What will be the effect of the National Strike? How quickly will it inflict, as you said, "the maximum economic harm to the illegal government"?
- Stopping any industrial giant can cause a domino effect. If it happens that, on October 26, Belaruskali will stop, after it, within a few hours, will stop Hrodna Azot. It will be supported by both Zhodzina BelAZ and Minsk MTZ.
I think that I am not exaggerating when I say that this will cause the effect of a nuclear bomb. I would like Belaruskali to start this process because, historically, miners have always belonged to the most progressive, revolutionary-minded part of the population.
- When the strikes began in August, Lukashenka was very nervous. Do you remember how the workers of the MZKT shouted to him: "Officer, shoot yourself!"?
- I believe that for the current government, a strike at enterprises is the most effective and lethal weapon because the economic component is immediately put into effect. Our Belarus is not such a rich state that can take some kind of pause for the economy. We have counted every ruble. We owe large sums to the whole world.
Secondly, a strike of enterprises is a strike of workers - of simple workers, regular people. And this is the electorate. That is, even psychologically, the authorities are very afraid of this. Even simply psychologically, it is still the same nuclear bomb for the authorities.
- On what day of the general strike will Lukashenka capitulate?
- You see, the general strike is one of the important links in the chain of actions. I think that after it starts, all events will develop in a different scenario.
The strike is like an important component of the overall program. Today we have stopped the enterprise, and tomorrow we will only have to gather near the key authorities. I say in the literal sense: today we do not go to work, and tomorrow we take to the streets. And we are not walking along Partizansky Prospekt, but gathering near key authorities: Lukashenka's palace, the main squares of cities, and other places where important authorities are located. And that is all. I think it will take a week; the regime will not survive anymore.
- Maybe even three days, as it was under the Emergency Committee?
- Yes, maybe three days. That is, the change of power, in this case, is a matter of days because it will already be really a fight, as I called it initially.
- Why is it important not to stop this time?
- I will say this: do not stop and rise en masse — everyone must consolidate around this common goal.
This is necessary for one reason. The shorter the battle, the less human and economic losses will be. I am not saying that someone will die, I mean in general - so that people suffer as little as possible. This must be done together, together, resonantly.
Why are soldiers given the command: "At ease" while crossing the bridge? So that there is no resonance, and the bridge does not collapse. It is the same with our question: if we clap our hands together, the regime will fall apart. Therefore, as in any street fight, I apologize for the example, it's better if this fight is shorter.