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Minsk squib February 17, 2006

Posted by BiB in Uncategorized.
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Both RFE/RL and the beeb are reporting arrests at last night’s demonstration in Minsk. What they also report, and what breaks my heart, is that the demonstration had 200 participants. Now I understand folk are perhaps rather afraid to demonstrate, and that the demonstration hadn’t been given the official go-ahead, so potential participants half-knew they’d be asking for trouble, aber 200? Isn’t that just a little bit piffling? It’s not the stuff the Orange Revolution was made of. Which makes you wonder just how many people give a toss. Is this apathy the Belarusian equivalent of Britons having speed-humps as their number one global concern? Or, as a relative of mine once bravely declared, “I’ll stick my neck out on which party to vote for just as soon as I know which one will keep my pavement clean of dog poo.” Yet one can hardly equate British and Belarusian levels of apathy, or at least give them the same reasons to exist. In Britain, rightly or wrongly, many may feel that it doesn’t make an awful lot of difference who’s in power. No-one could possibly argue that that’s what people think in Belarus, surely. Yet so much seems to indicate that the majority just don’t give a toss. Indeed, the one Belarusian I know in Berlin, a doctor of chemistry who’s been in Germany for a million years, only this weekend told me what a stooge Milinkevich was and that Lukashenka is a diamond geezer and man of the people.

Well, I’m still holding out for a March miracle, and Belarusians can hardly be blamed for being ill-informed politically. But the ‘revolution’, when it comes, and whatever form it takes, can only really be generated from within.

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