Lessons learned from the Belarussian protestors

The protests in Belarus are impressive. Usually, when protests happen, people tend to become agitated and get angry and violent. Property gets destroyed. Sometimes even, authorities play a role in instigating them.

But not in Belarus. Although the police has been using excessive force against protesters, and there are evidences of the torture of protestors in prison, the people of Belarus remained calm, but determined. Especially brave, since public gatherings have been banned in Belarus since 2011. It is also admirable the care people take of public property, even picking up garbage after the protests.

The second thing worth noting is that all these people contesting the results of the latest presidential elections did not give into the pressure to lean one way or another. They are not protesting for the West or against Russia; it hasn’t become politicized. There aren’t any EU flags at the protests after the elections (very different from Ukraine a few years ago); they are carrying the white-red-white flag which people see as the real flag of Belarus.

The people in the streets of Belarus are committed to their country and its prosperity. They demand new and fair elections. They are a wonderful example of a democratic exercise, even in an authoritarian-run country. We can learn a lot from them.