25 June 2024, Tuesday, 21:03
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Belarusians Made Riot Police Retreat

Belarusians Made Riot Police Retreat

Protests are taking a new level.

The soul of a Belarusian is rejoicing: the new format of street marches proved to be relatively safe and effective, Belarusian journalist Sasha Romanova writes for dw.com.

On November 22, local chats began to determine the place of protesters' gathering themselves. Thus, people who reside in Serebryanka or Malinovka did not need to reach the city centre.

Now people build up columns in their neighbourhoods - many faces, the protest is alive, and the depression from the violence is fading away.

Alibegova, Malinovka, Pushkinskaya, Tractorny, Southwest, Kamennaya Gorka, and Uruchye - there were a hundred local marches last Sunda. While law enforcers dispersed people in one area, a new column was already gathering in another.

The famous Belarusian artist Vladimir Tsesler drew a hundred flags of the capital's neighbourhoods in the three months of protests. They are variations of white-red-white with local zest. Such flags are popular now.

Riot police do not know the yard where you were born.

There are no more than two thousand riot policemen in Minsk. If they stifle the protest in the city centre or a yard, the damage is estimated by dozens of victims of flash grenades and hundreds of detainees (the number of detainees exceeded one thousand on two Sundays).

To ensure order in all the yards of Minsk, the personnel must be divided into parts. What can ten people do to a column of 500 protesters? Hence the footage from Minsk on November 22, when the crowd makes law enforcers retreat.

Our yards and blocks are the territories we perfectly know. You know how to escape and hide.

The idea with a large column in the centre failed, as the tenant density in the old houses is poor. After all, it is challenging for these tenants to take to the streets. They prefer to wave flags out of the windows and bless the column, as one grandmother did. One could see it on mass media. Next Sunday, the law enforcers may call on citizens to show responsibility and gather near the Stela cordoned off in the morning. After all, it's impossible to disperse such a decentralized protest!

The Belarusians looked into each other's eyes at the biggest first march of August 16, made sure that the majority of people stand for changes, and the collapse of the regime is a matter of time.

Yes, there is no one big protest column in the centre of the capital - there is no picture for the media. Only official propaganda states that people take to the streets because of a great picture. People do it because they are fed up with lies and violence. Because Lukashenka must resign. On November 22, the lists of Human Rights Center Viasna had 437 names of detained persons. One week earlier, it was 1200.

The tactics works. Next Sunday, more protesters will take to the streets. Belarusians do not mention flash grenades anymore. There is a video of how people keep standing near the Pushkinskaya metro station on November 22, while flash grenades are exploding. One can meet Georgiy Saikovsky at the march of disabled people. He lost his foot being injured by a flash grenade on the night of August 11.

"Still water runs deeps," Henadz Korshunau, director of the Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, wrote on Facebook. Still water can break the dam.

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