Every day, there are activities in the country that bring this moment closer.
Alena Shymolina, a public activist from Pinsk, a lawyer of the Polesskaya Dobrota organization, spoke about this in an interview with Charter97.org.
- Could you tell us a little about yourself?
- I am a civic activist from Pinsk. For more than 10 years, I have been adhering to opposition views; for a certain period, I was a member of the party of Mikalai Statkevich. Later, I began to devote most of my time to helping Christian Democrats (the organizing committee for the creation of the BCD party) and charity. During the 2020 presidential campaign, I helped as a lawyer to the initiative group of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, spoke at rallies, and was an independent observer in Pinsk.
- The action in Pinsk against falsification of election results was one of the most powerful in the country, the police even had to retreat...
- Yes, we managed to achieve some success at first. Realizing that they had been deceived, people began to gather in the city center, near the executive committee, and demand justice. Everyone knew each other. There were many relatives, acquaintances, and friends in the crowd.
In fact, in half an hour, we “defeated” the Pinsk militia, which was standing near the executive committee. The city was in our hands. We did not flinch and decided to go all the way. But later, AMAP officers were delivered from Minsk by helicopters. Their cruel, inhuman actions shocked all the townspeople.
- How did you end up in Poland?
- Our organization Polesskaya Dobrota at a turning point provided assistance to many victims. I also collected evidence of the crimes of the regime.
My protest activities led to the fact that the authorities became interested in me. Detentions, searches, interrogations, arrests followed.
I promptly decided to leave the country together with my thirteen-year-old daughter. Friends helped us get to the border with Ukraine.
Then we walked through the border crossing to reach the Chernihiv House of Human Rights. After a while, I was offered to become a verifier there: to work with the personal files of Belarusians who applied for human rights assistance in Ukraine. I was in Chernihiv for three months, and then I moved to Poland. Just a week ago, I received political asylum. Now I am in Warsaw.
- The Belarusian diaspora holds rallies in the capital of Poland almost every week. Do you take part in them?
- You know, not all themes of the actions in Warsaw suit me. Different people display themselves in different ways.
But I am firmly convinced: as long as there are political prisoners in Belarus, we must take to the streets. People should know and see what solidarity is. I also try to attend all BCD shares, because their values are close to me.
If we here, in emigration, stop fighting for the Belarusians, then who will go out at all? Total cleansing of the political space has taken place in Belarus, so we, ordinary people, must go out until political prisoners in Belarus are released. Our solidarity is important to the hostages of the regime.
- What exactly, in your opinion, can bring the end of this regime closer?
- People in power, from Lukashenka's entourage, should see important triggers at the national level. Some of our actions of a national character...
- Could such a trigger be a nationwide strike in a broad sense: when a lot of people stay at home for various reasons?
- You know, this is one of the methods of fighting the regime.
Such campaigns of a nationwide character have the nature of water, which, as you know, breaks down a mountain.
If we continue this analogy in relation to the situation in Belarus, then the “mountain” of this regime has long been turned into a tree. Moreover, the tree has already turned into a stump, and the stump into dust, which will soon crumble. And the dust of the Lukashenka regime will soon be washed away by water.
I know exactly what we need to do. It's important not to lose track of when you're doing a big job. Go forward step by step. The time of the Lukashists has already ended. They are political animals.
- What would you like to say to the Belarusians who “do not lose the thread” and continue to fight?
- I am very pleased with the fact that Belarusians do not give up. Under inhuman conditions, people perform a small feat every day.
They remind me of wood-boring bugs that bore, bore, and bore. It is those who consciously made this choice who have risen to the highest level of goodness.
And it seems to me that the heavenly forces will help us, to which our Belarusian heroes have joined: Aliaksandr Taraikouski, Andrei Zeltser, and Roma Bandarenka.
Our work should not be lost: if you took the first step, then continue and keep going. People who continue to fight in Belarus have made a step for themselves, they went for it, and they cannot be stopped.
They will reach the goal, they will come - I believe in that. With my great human respect for the people who decided to take this step, I bow before the courage of these people. If I had stayed, I would have been doing my own thing on the sly, because this is my choice, and we must win.
It makes my soul happy that so many do not give up. Now I am looking at Siarhei Dyleuski: he is smart and a great fellow. I admire the way he organizes the labor movement. Together with his colleagues from the Belarusian Workers' Association (BOR), he provides statistics on the national strike every day. It is very important to see that he has his finger on the pulse every day.
And all Belarusians together, each in their activities, are pulling this ship every day, each pulling their own rope, like burlaks.