Wit-Russische Vrouwen in Nederland initieren, uit solidariteit met de vrouwen in Wit-Rusland, een flash mob #women_in_white.
Zij roepen vrouwen in Nederland op om de vrouwen in Wit-Rusland te steunen die, gehuld in witte kleding, vechten voor democratie en vrijheid door deel te nemen in vreedzame protesten en stakingen.
Je kunt dit doen door een foto van jezelf in witte kleding of een kort filmpje met wat je vindt van wat er in Wit-Rusland gebeurt, te posten op social media met de hashtag #women_in_white.
Lees hieronder hun schets van de situatie en gebeurtenissen in Wit-Rusland en hun oproep.
Today Belarus is going through hard times. The ‘bright side’ is that it’s not irreversible, and the process of change has already started. From the very beginning, brave Belarusian women have played a big role in the struggle for democracy and freedom by participating in peaceful protests, strikes, charity, and volunteer work.
The former President Alexander Lukashenko has been in power for 26 years. During the latest election campaign, he blocked or arrested all rivals (Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Viktar Babaryka) but allowed female presidential candidate Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya to participate. Although her husband, Siarhei Tsikhanouski, was arrested at Lukashenko’s command, Lukashenko did not believe she could ever be real competitor to him. According to Alexander Lukashenko, a woman cannot be president of the Republic of Belarus because “Our constitution is not made for a woman” and “being a president is a burden that a woman cannot carry”.
That was a mistake for Lukashenko. Sviatlana united with two other oppositional women leaders - Maria Kalesnikava and Veranika Tsepkala - to make a stand against the dictatorship. That union of three women, in fact, inspired Belarusians to wake up. Recently, Belarusian people started to believe that a change for the country is possible and all across the country, these three women were successfully drawing the most massive crowds in Belarusian history.
The election result, declaring Lukashenko the winner, was completely fabricated. People refused to accept the results and took to the streets in peaceful protests. The police responded with tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber bullets against people who had no weapons, no body protection, or any other equipment. The internet was shut down across the whole country and three nights of violence left almost 7000 people were detained, with over 200 injured, and at least 2 dead (these are the ‘official’ numbers). There are at least 21 people still missing. Among those detained, beaten, and humiliated in prison were not only men but women and even those who were underage.
To show solidarity with the protestors, and in an attempt to stop violence in Belarus, hundreds of women overcame their fear of being arrested or kidnapped by the police and lined the streets of Belarusian cities wearing white clothes, holding flowers in their hands. Women's courage once again reanimated people and stopped the huge wave of violence on the streets. Belarusian women stood up to defend their political freedom. Of all the sounds and images streaming out of Belarus at the moment, the most powerful are the voices and actions of the women.
‘It was so scary...And in the next morning (after protests) - the female line with the flowers. In the beginning, I thought that I had become so sensitive but then I realized that it's normal. I was crying because I've just understood - it's the end. Women just have saved the country one more time. I realize how it was awful to stay there (on the streets with flowers), after all that violence. And that was unbelievable and exactly turn-on. It would be the first feminist revolution in history.’
Siarhei Chaly, Belarusian political expert
We, Belarusian women in the Netherlands, in solidarity with women in Belarus, would like to initiate a flash mob #women_in_white. If you will stand with us and oppose the violence,
please make a short video with your thoughts about the situation in Belarus or take a photo wearing white. Spread it through social media by using the hashtag #women_in_white.
We are women. And we can do anything. Even fight a dictatorship.
Belarusian women in the Netherlands