Private university students oppose authorities’ decision; street leaders attempt to invigorate public protests

Category status:
- (The situation has improved)
Image: RFE/RL

Supporters of street activity anticipate stepping beyond the election campaign framework and bring protesters to the streets of Minsk and Homiel. Students of a private university held a protest rally against the Education Ministry’s failure to renew accreditation for some specializations.

MP Kanapatskaya aims to consolidate opponents of the current authorities through launching a petition to change electoral legislation. She also met with Prime Minister Rumas last week to discuss prospects and forms for further cooperation with the government after leaving the elected office.

Bloggers made further attempts to bring their followers to the streets within electoral legislation. Influencers are gradually gaining political capital; they were among the organizers of party candidates’ meeting with voters in Homiel.

Supporters of street activity from European Belarus and Statkevich-led Belarusian National Committee, are attempting to seize blogger NEXTA’s initiative and step up street activity. The “Free People Meeting” campaign has brought together some hundred people. Due to road repairs, the protesters had to move from the October Square to Freedom Square, where they held a picket within the electoral law framework.

Protest sentiments among youth have grown due to unpopular decisions of education authorities. Students of private Minsk Innovation University publicly protested and expressed discontent with the Education Ministry’s failure to renew accreditation for five university specializations. Education Ministry representatives were forced to take part in a round table discussion with the protesting students, which, however, did not resolve the existing matter. Students said they intended to continue protesting in support for the university. Simultaneously, tension over the unpopular ‘law on deferrals from the army service’ adopted last summer, has politicized part of society and resulted in several nominations of parliamentary candidates from youth.

So far, youth protest initiatives steer clear from the political opposition, however, they grow in number due to unpopular decisions by public authorities.