21/09/05: Peace Day: approx 150 people gathered near the Republic Palace in Minsk and blew soap bubbles. The activists said that these “soap bubbles symbolise nonviolent resistence.” The demonstration lasted two hours, there were dances, folk songs and hippy songs. There’s a video.
02/10/05: Belarussian Anarchist Congress. In paralell to the opposition congress.This was the 12th congress of the Federation of Belarussian Anarchists, at which tere were approx 50 delegates from Minsk, Gomel, Lida, Vitebsk, Ivatsevich and other reasons. Members off the Belarussian social movement “Razam!”, Autonomous Action, Antifascist Resistence, Indymedia and the radical paper “Navinki” and other antiauthoritarian, anarchist initiatives also participated.
03/09/05 Food Not Bombs: for the second week, Food Not Bombs in Minsk took place in a new location. They had to change sites due to police pressure. They continue to hand out food inspite of police warnings that they can be under arrest under several statutes.
27/08/05 The Polish Question. The Union of Poles in Belarus- lead by Tadeus Gavin in discussion of the issues confronting the Polish community in Belarus.
17/07/05 Food Not Bombs: the first ever Food Not Bombs event in Gomel organised by the group “Razam!” where they handed out food to the needy. 10 people had been fed when the police were called and a captain and lieutenant of the local police arrived and charged one of the organisers.
25/07/05 Every Saturday in Minsk the Food Not Bombs action takes place. Each time hot food is delivered to 60-80 people. The Food Not Bombs collective consists of anarcho-punks, hare krishnas and everything in between, motivated by a desire to feed the hungry. Although the police were called, we all had health and safety books, and let them know that we just wanted to help the needy, then they took the names of four people who were holding ladels and pans, and told us that we were in no way breaking the law, that they just needed our details for the forms. We plan to continue the events from the same location… FNBminsk@narod.ru
08/07/05 Minsk action against the G8. Friday 8th July in Minsk outside the UK embassy people gathered in solidarity with the anti G8 protestors in the UK. Leaflets were handed out to passers by and a statement was given to the British ambassador expressing concern over police action regarding the peaceful protestors and sympathy with the victims of the terrorist attacks in London.
27-29/06/05: Paul Birmingham, the director of the world bank for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova visits Belarus. Part of his itinerary, according to the press release, was visiting Chernpbyl victims in Gomel region: Braginsk and Khoiniksky areas.The stated aim of his visit includes learning about the state on the ground in affected regions with a view to implementing the Chernobyl strategy. Protests planned.
25/05/05 rumours of a nuclear crisis in minsk. Background radiation levels rumoured to have risen to potentially dangerous levels. Physics faculty reported to be monitoring levels constantly.
26/04/05 Chernobyl protest moved by police from the usual location. In previous years thousands turned out, this year in the new location only 150, who were mainly the official opposition and members of the “Youth Front”. They were monitored and photographed by the belarussian security forces.
Indymedia Belarus Collective on the political situation in Belarus.
Public assembly, unsanctioned by the state, can lead to up to 15 days under arrest or a significant fine. This can apply even to meetings that take place inside.
Public declarations and actions by organisations, groups and movements not registered by the state is punishable by up to two years imprisonment.
Public declarations containing criticism of the president and state structures can be tried as “libel” and result in up to 5 years in prison.
Difficulty of life in Belarus:www.belarusinside.org
Written by a belarussian now living in the US.
provocations against activists of the Zubr movement- evening 23 Dec in Gomel. Pavel Madzjara and two friends were detained by persons unknown at 11pm, body searches planted drugs. “Everything looked like a badly staged farce. Persons in plainclothes put us on the ground, switched off our mobile phones, and took us to police department. There they started to search us. A little pack with green stuff was planted on my clothes, and the same stuff was “found” on my friend Alyaksandr Marozau. It was wrapped in a sticker, apparently torn off beforehand. For the whole night we were not allowed to call anybody, at 6am a search in my apartment was held. Stickers, bulletins and flags were seized there. Pavel Madzara said.
At the moment the young people are released with a written undertaking not to leave the place. A criminal action has been initiated.
20 December activists of the Zubr movement were detained by police in front of the building of Homel KGB department. They were pasting posters of a Zubr activist- Andrei Zajtsau, who committed suicide four years ago because of KGB pressure. They were arrested, and threatened but no reports filed.