Civil society and political parties stand together in support for Belarus’ independence, urban infill in Minsk prompts residents to unite in protest
Political parties have supported the authorities’ efforts aimed at ensuring Belarus’ independence and counteracting information attacks on Belarus by the Russian media. Civil society activists forced the authorities to abandon plans to demolish Osmolovka district of Minsk; however, the tension between local communities and the authorities in Minsk has grown due to urban infill plans.
The Belarusian authorities and the opposition have demonstrated a consensus in upholding Belarus’ independence and sovereignty. Nevertheless, this is unlikely to lead to a rapprochement between the parties and the authorities on socio-economic and domestic political issues. However, parties are likely to somewhat soften the rhetoric against the Belarusian leadership, especially the National Democrats.
The Belarusian National Committee has nominated Statkevich as their presidential candidate, primarily in order to mobilise protest activists, since the outstanding criminal record of Statkevich would not allow him to run for the presidency.
Civic activists and political opposition focused on defending Belarus’ independence and preparing for Freedom Day celebrations. Civic activists have launched a crowdfunding campaign to finance the celebration of the 101st anniversary of the Belarusian People’s Republic (Freedom Day celebrated on March 25th). Their efforts are likely to bring fruits, especially given the increased importance of independence in society and for the authorities and last year’s experience in celebrating Freedom Day.
Civic activists and local communities have successfully defended their interests in Minsk. They managed to preserve the historic district of Osmolovka from the demolition. The confrontation with the authorities started in 2017 since then campaign activists used various legal means to put pressure on the authorities and organized an impressive network of activists throughout Belarus.
In another part of Minsk, Sucharava residents and New Life church members are attempting to thwart the authorities’ urban infill plans. Public hearings gathered an impressive crowd, including leaders of the Belarusian Christian Democracy, who said they would provide organizational support for the protest movement to use legal means to put pressure on the authorities. For Freedom Movement with the support of MP Kanopatskaya organized a round table in Orsha to discuss amendments to the law on public hearings.