Today (16 August 2020) hundreds of thousands of workers of Belarusian enterprises have joined the protests. The website Charter97.org asked coordinator of the European Belarus civil campaign, organizer of many protests Dzmitry Bandarenka to assess the situation in Belarus, and give advice to the participants in the protests and the All-National Strike.
“Today, it is the workers and residents of the rebellious urban neighborhoods that are the main driving force of the Belarusian revolution. People, believe in yourself, self-organize. It is necessary to create self-defense and order protection brigades in the shortest possible time. There is a huge distrust of Belarusians in the police. Thousands of police officers and servicemen have already written a letter of resignation and will be afraid to put on their uniforms. For some time, the rule of law in the country will be provided by the Belarusian people and highly conscientious citizens.
“Don’t expect someone else to do it for you. Activists of workers’ and territorial order protection brigades can mark themselves with white-red-white or white armbands on their hands. The workers of the enterprises know each other better and must appoint those responsible for the formation of such popular brigades. Activists of democratic parties and movements who remain at large can help them in this.
“Demand from the heads of your enterprises and cultural organizations to provide the brigades with sound-amplifying equipment. The police and law-enforcement officers who have gone over to the side of the people, veterans of the armed forces and police, who are very numerous among the protesters, can also help you.
“It is very important not to let scammers who have been the regime’s servants for years lead the popular protest against Lukashenka’s dictatorship. The main tasks for today are:
- resignation of Lukashenka,
- release of political prisoners and all popular leaders (Mikalai Statkevich, Pavel Seviarynets, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Yauhen Afnahel, and others)
- creation of the Coalition Government of Popular Trust,
- return to the 1994 Constitution,
- holding free elections to the Supreme Council of the Republic of Belarus,
- holding presidential election in the country.
“It is imperative that the coalition government, the bodies of the new government at the central and regional levels, the leadership of the new free trade unions, and not the Trade Union Federation controlled by the dictator, must include representatives of strike committees, leaders of the people’s and territorial squads.
“Our strength lies in unity! Lukashenka’s regime is living out its last days, and perhaps even hours.’