Democracy Rising

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

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Will Denim Revolution Succeed?

That is the question on everyone's lips today. As Tobias Ljungvall notes 'will freedom-yearning Belarusians dare to protest?'. The latest information tells me that they are. This is somewhat suprising. I did expect attempts at protest, but had a hunch the authorities might try and employ tactics (such as road blocking) to keep opposition supporters from congregating in one area.

So where now?

My guess is that nothing will happen for a few hours, then we shall see whether protestors stick things out into the night or pack up for sleep. If the former occurs the protest may pass off peacefully. If it is the latter expect mass police action in the small hours of the morning, with possible riots in retaliation.

Will the opposition return tomorrow? Perhaps, but the day after the election focus may drift in the West from Belarus back to Iraq or Thailand - providing the perfect opportunity to literally force supporters out of Minsk square.

Lukashenko could always pull a Karimov of course and try and violently expell supporters from Minsk - my instincts tell me that this scale of violence will not happen. If it did I doubt even Putin could go on supporting such a regime in Europe's backyard.

Interesting to note that Zubr is claiming their site has been hacked. I can confirm that opposition candidate Alexander Milinkevich's page has been down all day.

Updates follow...


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