Democracy Rising

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable" ~ President John F. Kennedy

Monday, March 20, 2006

Reflections On Day Two Of Denim Revolution

I've been posting comments on numerous forums over the day and keeping an eye on the situation in between studying. So here is the Democracy Rising view on the situation in Minsk - Monday March 20th 2006:

It's been a day of misinformation really. Some are still arguing over the exact figure from last night, RadioFreeEurope/Radio Liberty claiming almost 50,000, the Daily Telegraph in the UK only 9,000, the BBC 10,000. Things were worse tonight with RFE/RL claiming about 15,000, Ekho Moskvy 6,000. No disagreement that figures were certainly lower. However it seems people do want to join the protest - the police are simply blocking their route to the square. Watching video scenes from the various sources and hearing the numerous car horns in those clips it seems like most of Minsk is with the opposition.

I was somewhat disappointed earlier in the evening, even concerned there had been no protest at all. Most of the western media seemed quite happy to bang on about U.S condemnation of the ballot, whilst keeping hush on the further demonstrations. Lets hope this isn't a sign of things to come. Yet the BBC eventually picked up on the protests, as did Al-Jazeera, so the message is getting out. Lets hope this can keep up the pressure and spur the Milinkevich backers on.

Some good news is that the police appear to have allowed the demonstration to continue - at least for now. If the opposition can convince even 25% of officers to leave their protest alone it will cause friction and indecisiveness in the security forces. This was one successful tactic in the Orange Revolution.

Also, despite numerous claims that the elderly support Lukashenko, look at the faces in the October Square crowd. 50:50 split between the young and old, all cheering for Milinkevich. Check out these for proof.

The saddest news of the evening is this (if the link works). Police had detained Milinkevic's two sons. A tactic to get a concerned Milinkevich off the street looking for his flesh and blood? If so Lukashenko is shooting himself in the foot - people and the West are only going to get more rattled with this kind of behaviour. Thankfully things seem to have been resolved. The sons are allegedly free.

So as I drift off to bed, I await to see the news in the morning. Will the tent city under construction be smashed in the night? Will the protests grow tomorrow? Will the police defect? Will the west lose interest?

Long Live Belarus, may all those on October Square have a peaceful night. Democracy is Rising in Minsk

Updates follow...


Post a Comment

<< Home