People will take to the central streets and squares of their cities today at 7 p.m.
“We must take to the streets, and demonstrate our disagreement with the way our votes are being stolen,” said presidential contender Valer Tsapkala in a video message that he recorded after the CEC decided not to register him and Viktar Babaryka as presidential candidates.
- The authorities have not been interested in how people live for a long time. They have lost connection with the reality. This distancing from the interests of our people finds expression in such vile forms. And these vile methods that the authorities resort to in order to defame their competitors, and then remove them from the election race. These dirty methods that we saw in this campaign, this power was demonstrated them to the Belarusian people. The power showed its true face.
We (presidential candidates - edit.) have sacrificed something, we refused certain material assets. We have made a sacrifice by giving up a quiet life in order to go into this campaign, and make the Republic of Belarus a free country.
We saw the activity of the civil society. We saw how our young boys and girls entered the “chains of solidarity”, joined hands and demonstrated that they want to see the Republic of Belarus different: a free, democratic, civilized country. There were many of these people. The whole world looked at these people. It was really an amazing sight because, everyone looked at us with enthusiasm and hope. Not only our compatriots who live abroad, and not only the international community that saw the Belarusian people waking up, but also the Belarusian people themselves, those people who are not ready yet to exchange their quiet lives for the prosperous future of Belarus. They are not ready to sacrifice anything, not even an hour of their time. But I think that it made the most indelible impression on them. We have awakened the activity of the Belarusian people.
The authorities, of course, are forcing out off the distance. They, of course, completely ignore the will of the Belarusian people, honestly and frankly saying that they would not give this power to the people of Belarus. But I think that the path of this election campaign has not yet been completely completed. I think that the Belarusian people still have the opportunity and chance to show that they are not “some folks”, that we are not subhuman, that we, indeed, are people, that we have pride inside. We simply must demonstrate this pride.
Now is the stage of the election campaign. There are some spoilers. I really hope that they have the courage to make a decision in accordance with the will of the Belarusian people, and if there is a need, then withdraw their candidacy. I really believe in that. But I would also like to see that Belarusians will continue to be active, will build “chains of solidarity”, will demonstrate both to the Belarusian society and the whole world that the Belarusian people are not dead, that the Belarusian people are still alive, that they still have life forces to resist the regime. That regime, which considers itself the right to keep the Belarusian people on their knees and completely ignore their will, live at their expense and build their prosperity, considering the Belarusians only abstract individuals who should simply pay taxes in order to build more palaces for them, residences so that he could do something else for himself that he hadn’t come up with yet: maybe buy some better airplane than the American president, or maybe buy himself some kind of collection of cars, in which he will drive through the cities, blocking us from himself.
Nevertheless, we must come out and demonstrate our disagreement with the complete disregard for the will of the Belarusian people, with how our votes are stolen, how our choices are manipulated. We just have to go out onto the streets, Independence Avenue and queue up at the bus stops. This queue can be quite long. Get on the bus, if necessary, and ride one stop. But we must take to the streets and show that we are people, that we don’t want to kneel - that is what the authorities expect from us.
Many of us gave up wealth and came to this campaign, giving up a quiet life in order to change the Belarusian society. Let us not just lie on the sofas and watching TV, but find within ourselves an hour or two to stand up and look at the faces of those Belarusian guys and girls who today want to see the Republic of Belarus as another country, who on August 9 would like to wake up in another Belarus.
I would like not only young men and women, but also their parents and grandmothers to come and join these “chains of solidarity”. Think, if the youth leaves, who will bury you here? If they do not have a normal high-paying job here, they will definitely flee, and you will be left alone. What does a grandma need? What does my mom need? I know very well when I come, she wants only one thing. The time she can spend with her children and grandchildren. This is the most important to her.
If you do not come out today or tomorrow, then you will not have anyone to visit and your children and grandchildren will not visit you, because they will no longer perceive the Republic of Belarus as their country. It really does not belong to them today. And this power has demonstrated that Belarus does not belong to the people of Belarus.
The authorities showed how they are faking the results of the August 9 elections today. And if we do not take to the square, if we do not take to the streets, if we do not go out constantly, regularly, this manipulation will continue. In five years, they will do the same, these authorities will do the same in 10 years, in 15 years,in 20 years. And they will do it until we show solidarity, until we show what we are capable of.
I emphasize that this should be all within the law. I do not urge anyone to storm anything. I remember very well how Mahatma Gandhi gathered peaceful protests. It was these peaceful protests that crushed the British Empire. It was these people, simple, unarmed people, who simply went out, walked on and demonstrated that they are a people. The people who have the right to sovereign, meaningful existence. Without nannies, without “batkas”, without urging, without neglect, without impudence, without rudeness, without arrogance, without all these qualities that the authorities demonstrate today with respect to the people of Belarus. Respectfully, with reverence, in order to see each person as a person, to enable each person to reveal themselves as a talent, so that we can say that Belarus is cool. Belarus is prestigious, it's great, this is where free and rich people live. I want to see Belarus just such a country. ”
On the Internet and social networks, many participants of yesterday’s actions urge Belarusians to go to the central streets and squares of their cities today at 7 p.m.
Today is the first day of the permitted stage of campaigning for presidential candidates. People are going to use their lawful right to legal pickets, and take to the streets.