Belarusian authorities will not allow protest activity growth among public sector employees
An increasing number of large state-owned enterprises in Minsk and regions require their workers to take unpaid leave, cut their working hours or trim their salaries. Nevertheless, the authorities manage to keep the situation under control and prevent mass layoffs in the public sector. Meanwhile, workers’ protest activity remains low and is limited to individual and collective complaints to the state authorities. The authorities monitor the situation and promptly respond to incidents when workers show dissatisfaction with salary payments. If the crisis in public sector deepens, the state will use additional mechanisms to maintain high employment levels in order to restrict protest activity in the year of presidential elections.
During searches of social and "green" activists and anarchists, law enforcement has seized computers, mobile phones and publications. The authorities have also exerted additional pressure on supporters of unauthorized street protests and independent lawyers, who represented defendants in the White Legion case. The security services have stepped up the persecution of opponents before the street protests announced by the opposition. Apparently, the Belarusian authorities aspire that participants in street protests would reduce in number and that the low interest of the population to socio-political agenda before the local election campaign would retain.