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(en) Belarus, Anarchist bloc in Chernobyl March of 2007 in Minsk, 26th of April

Date Tue, 08 May 2007 18:27:34 +0300


in 6 PM, when Chernobyl March was about to start in Minsk, square of Yakub Kolasa was totally blocked by police

Authorities are so afraid of protests of its subordinates, that they do not let them to gather in most crowded places of the city. Metro station "Yakuba Kolasa square" was also closed, and buses were bypassing their stops there - a cause of annoyance for all local people there. Around 6:30 PM people started gathering in Academy of Science, which was convergence spot authorities allowed.

Liberal opposition (MF, "Bunt", BNF, OGP) were present with their usual flags and shouts. Anarchists, as usual, had their separate bloc, more close to street by the square, red and black diagonal flags were raised.

During the convergence, police was terrorizing people from a loudspeaker staged on a car, spreading disinformation that meeting was "illegal" and people should disperse, and unless people fail to do so "physical force and special weapons will be used". But people had already get used to this psychological pressure, as it was not first time Byelorussian authorities were using it, and nobody was scared away.

Around 7 PM march moved towards Bangalore square. There were some 80 people in lively anarchist bloc, but unfortunately anarchist bloc became too dispersed and did not seemed too organized. Almost all anarchist wore surgeon bandages with radiation signs, this way anarchist seemed more organized and it also protected privacy of participators.

During march, anarchists scanned "There is no peaceful atom, even children now it!", "No to second Chernobyl!", "No to nuclear reactor!", "No to reactor, no to radiation!" and more traditional anarchist "Rubber bullets and tear gas - a present from president to working masses!", "Rise the black flag higher, state is the main enemy!", "Power gives birth to parasites" and "We will bury power!". Shouting was accompanied by drumming.

In Surgeon street, OMON provoked a small fight. By side of the demonstration, there was a police bus with a loudspeaker, which ordered people not to move from sidewalk to the street. But as there were not less than 5000-6000 demonstrators, these orders were impossible to follow. At some point, authorities decided to use "physical force" according to their promises, they also shot a small dose of teargas.

Anarchists carried banners "Hands off from benefits of Chernobyl victims", "Not dangerous? Build under your own house!", "Atom may not be peaceful", "No to another Chernobyl", "Only dead are not afraid of radiation" and "For alternative energy".

Anarchist also left a small message to a police car.

In spot of the official meeting after march, we were standing yet more 10 minutes. We distributed leaflets and dispersed. KGB (yes, in Belarus they still have the good ol' brand! - translator) surrounded us tightly, but as we moved out in a well organized manner they did not managed to grab anyone.

Strength of anarchists was lively behavior and outlook, which helped us to differ positively from rest of the march. Our slogans were also more actual and on theme, than "Zhive Belarus!" (Long live Belarus!) of liberal democrat opposition - I had impression that they were not shouting much of anything else. Eventually many young people moved from main demonstration to anarchist bloc, as we were much more lively.

Our failures were that we got too dispersed, and we lacked good anarcho-ecological agitation materials.

In general our part was rather successful and we made almost anything we could. Main thing is not to get stuck to our current level of organization, but to move forward and to raise social and ecological issues connected to Chernobyl. We should not let party bureaucrats to turn Chernobyl march to a usual boring march. This day is for us to remember our responsibility in front of nature, and impossibility of life in harmony with the environment in conditions of capitalism, where profit is considered more important than human life and nature.

(By Autonomous Action of Minsk - translated from http://belarus.avtonom.org/?p=134)
(for version with photos, check http://avtonom.org/index.php?nid=968)
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