Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Alexander Milinkevich: When Fear Knocks On Belarus's Door, We Will Answer With Optimism

On Monday, March 13, 2006, over a thousand residents of Brest, Belarus came to meet with the democratic opposition candidate, Alexander Milinkevich, at the city's Palace of Culture. Hundreds of people could not fit into the hall and had to listen to the campaign speech broadcast in the lobby and corridors of the building. Here is Mr Milinkevich's comment afterwards to the local Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty correspondent:

"You know, I never expected that we would this easily raise this optimistic mood in Belarus -- optimism for victory, optimism for changes -- that we have such a great quantity of people here who were able to overcome their fear – this is just excellent. And when we travel now, there are always packed halls. We arrive in Salihorsk [a 'new city' of 100,000 in the Minsk region of central Belarus, founded in 1958] and there are a thousand people in the hall, and out in the street one thousand more. When did we have anything like this? Not since Perestroika. This new activity is because people understood that their former passivity resulted in what we have today. And people now want to take part in the political processes, to influence the destiny of their country and the fate of their children and grandchildren. I think that this is the greatest victory.

So I will say that my mood is just excellent. I have said that I would go all the way to the end. And I have never felt such as power within me because I see that there are so many excellent, active people behind me, and more and more every day. And I will say it again: we are not fighting against Lukashenka, not against the authoritarian power, but for the New Belarus."

Democratic Opposition Candidate Milinkevich's supporters rally in Minsk, Belarus -- less and less afraid of Authoritarian President Lukashenka's 'Administrative Toolbar' of police surveillance and repression.

Photo credit: Agence France Presse With thanks.


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