The opposition in Belarus wants to break the power of the autocrat Alexander Lukashenko with widespread strikes. He doesn’t want to give up.
The opponents of President Alexander Lukashenko of Belarus have called at the beginning of the new work week to nationwide strikes in state enterprises. The work stoppages are intended to break the basis for the power apparatus – in the ex-Soviet republic, state-owned enterprises are considered to be elementary for the functioning of the state.
Above all, the work collectives should express their displeasure with the torture in prisons and the deaths, the appeals said. The first strikes began in the morning.
Experts believe that the strike will be the quickest way to force Lukashenko to give up. He himself is expected this Monday at the vehicle manufacturer MZKT, where he wants to bring the workforce into line. Lukashenko had once again emphasized in a passionate speech at a rally with supporters that he would not give up power. State television showed the speech again on Monday.
Lukashenko’s opponents called on other workers to show solidarity with the MZKT workforce. On Monday evening (5:00 p.m. CEST), the workers from the state-owned companies were supposed to gather for a new rally on Independence Square in Minsk to support the protests in the country for Lukashenko’s resignation. A “sit-in strike” is planned afterwards, which will take place every day from now on until the 65-year-old leaves office. New protests are also planned in other cities in the evening.
According to estimates by activists on Sunday, more than half a million people were on their feet across the country in the largest protests ever. In the capital Minsk alone, there were hundreds of thousands. Protests of this magnitude in Belarus are considered historic. They were peaceful.
The police no longer intervened – unlike last week. The situation is tense because the authorities have declared the protests illegal. Military vehicles are also available, as can be seen in photos on the Telegram news channel.
Meanwhile, opposition politician Svetlana Tichanovskaya has signaled her readiness to take power. She was ready to run her country, she said in a video address broadcast from Lithuania on Monday. At the same time, she spoke out in favor of creating the legal framework for new and fair elections. She appealed to the security apparatus in her home country to break away from the government of President Alexander Lukashenko and to switch sides. Your past behavior will be forgiven if you did so now.
According to her team, Tichanovskaya left for Lithuania after the election the weekend before last following threats from the authorities. Her husband has been detained in Belarus for a long time as an opposition activist.