“Stop: petrol”

April 22, 2016 17:55

On 7 June Minsk drivers staged a three-hour protest action right in front of the Presidential Administration, demanding to lower petrol prices which were increased on 6 June by 30%. The next day, Lukashenko ordered petrol prices to be reduced by 15-20%.


The driver’s rally was well-organized, massive in scale, fun, and enjoyed the support of the passers-by. Moreover, it was supported by President Alexander Lukashenko, who recognized the validity of the claims of civic activists and told the government to reduce petrol prices.

It was the first large-scale and effective event since the beginning of the active phase of socio-economic instability in the country. It is important that the “old” opposition was not responsible for the event, which was organized by the “new generation” of public figures. The organizers of the fourth action “Stop: petrol” since the beginning of the year was a public organization “For Auto”.

Actions of the participants were coordinated via forums and social networks. Drivers were asked to tie white ribbons to the antennas of cars, put stickers on windows and gradually form a column that would block the main avenue of Minsk.

During the rally drivers were moving at the slowest possible speed or stopped, simulating car break-down: opened bonnets, put up warning signs, some were pushing their cars manually. Traffic police behaved carefully and tried to convince drivers to keep moving. Pedestrian observers were active: loudly applauded and strongly supported the drivers. When the rally was over one could find many small (10-20) ruble notes: the passers-by were throwing them under the cars’ wheels protesting against the depreciation of the Belarusian ruble.

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