4 December 2020, Friday, 5:20
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Ultimatum - It's For Everyone

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Ultimatum - It's For Everyone
Iryna Khalip

We have presented it not only to Lukashenka, but also to ourselves.

Sasha three percent, as it turns out, is making plans for the future. And not even in secret, but publicly. He says that in December he will start getting ready for the All-Belarusian meeting, and this meeting will discuss the five-year goals. And no mistake, he is thinking in big-picture terms.

This way a criminal, for whom they are about to come, convinces himself: they will not come now, the address will be wrong, the paperwork will not be made out or they will suspect the neighbor, and I will get on the train in the evening and head out to the south, and then everything will go away, they will forget about me - it has been said that one should visualize his dreams. And it's not so hard to wait when you imagine a glittering, trouble-free tomorrow. Lukashenka is doing the same: he is not the one who is telling his three percent about his plans for the future. He is the one who is convincing himself that he has a future.

Do not waste your time, Sasha. Certainly, you have a future - it is always there as long as a person is alive. Until the very last minute. But you must bring your future into correlation with the reality. It is senseless to waste time planning to enter the Bolshoi Theater stage as Spartacus. It may be planned by a ballet dancer or at least by a choreography school student. And if a retired tyrant dreams about it, he only wastes time and internal resources. It will not help. He will not become Spartacus, no matter how he convinces himself otherwise. And the plans for December, and even more so for the "Five Year Plan" sound particularly funny when only a few days are left until the end of the ultimatum.

There are much more actual plans for the remaining days: to dry rusks, to pack the kit-bag, to make an agreement with a lawyer who is still at large and with a license. And then try to slide through the closing door, get to the plane, fly to Turkey or the Emirates, or at least to Rostov - it's in the lap of the gods. In any case, there is something to do for a person, for whom every hour counts.

But not in our case. Lukashenka has already managed to slip so many times - through impeachment, sanctions, three percent, general hatred - that he hopes everything will work out this time. Whenever conditional guards came for him, he started to chat up them to such an extent that by the time he finally shut up, they either forgot why they had come, or even had time to retire. And now he hopes that he will slip through. He goes around prisons, recruits speakers, who then go at large and assure that it's the final term, and there will be reforms, as a matter of fact. But we've heard it so many times that, I hope, there won't be anyone in the country who says, "Okay, we're patient, we'll endure another five years, and then we'll hold free elections. Fortunately, there are no such people left among us. The patience has run out.

But it is not enough. It is simply not enough just not to swallow another spoonful of lies, shake off the wool and rub your eyes. We must make him leave. And for that end, we ourselves must fulfill the conditions of the ultimatum. Cause you can say as many times as you want "you, scoundrel, have two days left", but if after these two days we ourselves do nothing to make him leave - he will not go anywhere. He will continue to say that he has had enough of being in power and promise the last term, and we will be chanting "leave!" on Sundays. Then it will be called a national-level dialogue.

So the ultimatum is a double-end thing. We have presented it not only to Lukashenka, but also to ourselves. We said that if he does not leave, there will be a national strike, roadblocks and a boycott of state trade, so we have to fulfill it. Otherwise, he will not leave for sure.

But we will ride the whirlwind. Six months ago we could doubt about it. Now we do not. While Sasha three percent was trying to steady the scattering vertical, which he had been building for decades and was terribly proud of it, - we created a horizontal in two months. We have built those horizontal links across the country that will help us create both government structures and civil society after the victory. We are all leaders. It is possible to create a government or at least a mayor's office from each courtyard chat. It turned out that in all the Belarusian courtyards, in the evenings you can meet professionals from any sphere. We simply did not talk to each other before, only saying hello when we met in the elevator. And now we are together. We are in a coupling. So, we do not have any options, except the victory.

And this is that rare case, when the absence of choice is the most democratic phenomenon. We do not choose anything or anyone, we have no right to choose. We only have the right to win.

Iryna Khalip, specially for Charter97.org