Workers increasingly dissatisfied with economic policies and step up protests in Belarusian regions
Due to wage delays, workers at Molodechno Blue Steel Plant have gone on strike and refused to come to work. Non-payment of wages, falling incomes, stoppages, reduced working hours and mass layoffs are gradually leading to growing tension among the population in the regions working at state enterprises. If protest activity escalates, the authorities would be ready to meet the workers’ demands. When presidential campaign starts, the authorities are likely to use internal reserves to remedy the situation in the labour movement and to temporarily freeze protest activity. Political activity and protest voting is therefore unlikely to increase during the election period.
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.