Belarus 2020 From The Inside
What did you know about Belarus until 2020? Maybe that it is White Russia? That the artist Marc Chagall was born there? That the footballer Alexander Gleb is from there? Or that Belarus is ruled by the last dictator in Europe?
The last point you guessed a hundred percent. For 26 years, Lukashenka has been sitting on the throne of our country. The crown has grown roots to his head that he is absolutely detached from reality.
It’s interesting how quickly people get used to everything. Belarusian people are used to dictatorship. We are used to promises not being kept. We are used to the fact that WE pay the state money for saying unemployed and without a way to find a job. We are used to the fact that the profession of teachers and doctors is devalued. We are used to being afraid of the police. We are used to working in factories for 12 hours and making $ 200 a month. We are used to humiliating ourselves, being silent, and not discussing politics on the phone because it’s scary to do so. We got used to the fact that a huge number of young people leave the country in search of a better life. We got used to lies all over state television. We got used to the fact that our opinion does not mean anything.
Did you know that Belarus is the only country in Europe that has not been affected by the coronavirus? We just don’t have it. If it seems wild to you, come to Belarus and take off the “muzzles” from your face – this is what the president calls face masks.
Women in our country are nobody, sows, their main purpose is to give birth to children, that’s it. A woman in the government? Please! Is a woman capable of thinking at all?
Do you dislike the current government? You’ve been paid for your displeasure! You are a drug addict, sheep, or corrupt prostitute who was “bought” by Western Europe.
2020 has become a turning point in the fate of Belarus. Now the events that take place in the country are covered by all TV channels in the world. With bated breath, people observe how good confidently overcome evil. But let’s start from the beginning.
August 9 is a very important date in the life of every Belarusian. From that day on, we, Belarusians, began to be called bitches, scum, faggots, and what else. The Internet is turned off for us so that we cannot find out the truth. They grab us right on the street so that we cannot get home. Water cannons, rubber bullets, and noise grenades are being directed at us. We are pushed into paddy wagons (large khaki trucks with bars on the windows, in which detainees are transported), kicked, batons, and streams of obscene abuse. 30-40 of us are pushed into a cell for four. We are forced to kneel for days. Our hair is pulled out and our teeth are knocked out.
We, who disagree with the regime, are beaten until we lose consciousness. We are carried with rubber truncheons. We are humiliated morally and physically. They break our legs, backs, destinies. Due to the fact that we want a better life with the new president, we are deprived of our will, voice, and strength.
Meet Anya, who was walking home on the night of August 10-11. She was only 200 meters away from her house when suddenly she saw a bus with 10 riot policemen standing next to it. They pushed her into a paddy wagon and then beat her together. They beat me with their feet, truncheons, and hands. Snatching the phone from her hands, they said that Anya was one of the coordinators of the protests and that she would be severely punished for this. Some sign was painted on her back with a spray can.
As it turned out later, this is how riot police marked for their colleagues whom to beat with what force. They painted the sign of anarchy on the bike.
Then Anya was interrogated by 4 policemen, who knocked a chair out from under her and beat her with truncheons for answers that did not suit them.
After interrogation, she and 34 other girls were held on the street for more than 24 hours, forced to kneel. In order not to freeze, the girls lay hugging each other. You cannot raise your head. You can’t talk. You can’t move either. Otherwise, they beat you up.
All night long, the girls heard the screams of the guys who were in the other part of the building. With every hour experienced, these screams turned into whimpers and sobs. The men were beaten mercilessly. They were forced to sing the hymn on all fours. They were used as chairs. They were stripped and called “faggots”. One guy was forced to rip his dreadlocks out of his head with his hands. In the morning these bloody dreadlocks lay in the hallway. Later, the girls were pushed into a cell. There was nothing to breathe – they took turns breathing. For 35 people, they were given 3 liters of water. No food was given.
Two days passed.
One woman left her children at home – two and four years old. She asked to give her a call to someone who could look after them. In response, the woman was kicked for every request. They did not give her a call.
One night riot police beat a pregnant girl right on the street in the center of Brest. The girl lost her child.
Now in hospitals are men with rectal injuries, laryngeal ruptures, with purple priests. Some have craniocerebral injuries, spinal fractures.
To date, 80 people detained between August 9 and 12 are considered missing. According to official figures, 4 people died.
XXI Century. State in the center of Europe. What would you do if it were your son, daughter, sister, husband, mother, grandfather?
The Belarusians survived this. They found another way to fight the regime. They united and went to demand a change of government. Peacefully. No aggression. No hate. No weapons. With flowers in hand.
The provocation did not work.
We started a flower revolution. Everyday people line up in chains of solidarity to support those affected. To show your disagreement with the election results. In order to PEACELY overthrow the government, or rather, so that the government transfers its powers to Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who actually won these elections.
Yes, the elections were rigged. Yes, this is not the first time. And yes, this time we’ll get the truth.
How do we deal with all this?
In 10 days, the Belarusian people did more than Lukashenka – in 26 years of his reign. Several help centers were organized, thanks to which Belarusians help each other both morally and financially. Thus, the “Honest People” initiative helps in finding work; the KaliLaska charity project collects things for school children whose parents are on strike; information center Probono.by helps the victims during the actions to find lawyers, psychologists, doctors.
People buy each other water, food. People accompany each other home and leave the entrance doors wide open, in case they need to run away from the riot police again. There is a first aid kit and water in almost every entrance.
The largest factories in the country began to strike (the Minsk Tractor Plant, Belaruskali, the tobacco factory in Grodno, the Hephaestus-Tekhnika plant in Brest, the aircraft plant in Baranovichi and many others).
Most of the enterprises have suspended their work. Hospitals, schools, shops are on strike throughout the country. Some newspapers and TV channels have finally started writing and showing the truth. State TV channel BT has filed a collective letter of resignation.
The Republican Theater of Belarusian Drama, the Minsk Philharmonic, as well as the country’s largest and most important theater, Kupalovsky, are also on strike – it looks like a new theatrical season is not expected.
Are we scared? Sure! But the desire to live better, freer and happier is stronger than fear.
Are they scared? Undoubtedly! We have disarmed the dictatorship without using any weapons. Only faith, courage and perseverance. We will remember all the atrocities that happened to us. We will not forget deception and betrayal. We will not forgive. And we won’t give up. We will go to the last. We will win. The flower revolution continues.
Belarusians are honest, strong and kind people. Despite the pain that we have experienced, humiliation, fear and persecution, we face the enemy. We do not look down. You cant scare us. We smile, hug, support each other and sincerely believe in a change for the better. Because we are these changes.