Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/942/25139

From The Socialist newspaper, 29 March 2017

Belarus: movement developing against regime

Belarus strongman president Lukashenko has been feeling the hot breath of workers' opposition in recent weeks photo kremlin.ru/CC

Belarus strongman president Lukashenko has been feeling the hot breath of workers' opposition in recent weeks photo kremlin.ru/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Riot police viciously attacked anti-government protesters in Minsk and other cities across Belarus on 25 March. Protests over President Alexander Lukashenko's 'law against parasites' and his repressive regime have been taking place for the last two months. This law - a new tax on the self-employed - was 'the straw the broke the camel's back' of a long-suffering, oppressed population. And even though Lukashenko has announced withdrawal of the measure, the protests continue. Daniil Raskolnikov reports on the gathering storm - full article at socialistworld.net.

Ten years ago, former US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice dubbed Belarus the "last dictatorship in Europe", and ever since Western powers have treated the country like a pariah. Until, that is, President Lukashenko adopted a 'neutral' position, even criticising the Kremlin for supporting the pro-Russian self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine.

Hit by economic crisis, Lukashenko is looking desperately for help. He declared that EU citizens no longer need visas to visit the country. This is of huge significance because Belarus and Russia had a common visa regime, with no passport controls between the two countries.

Now Russia has restored its border guards and passport controls. This is a big step towards the break-up of the union between Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

Lukashenko reckoned that by introducing a new tax on the self-employed - most of whom are small-time traders forced into this situation after being made unemployed from industry or the retail sector - he could find money to fill gaps in his budget.

In response, ignoring the requirement to seek official permission to protest, people came onto the streets. These protests are dominated by working people.

Discontent at the new law was soon transformed into political demands, with calls for the resignation of the government and the president.

The state-controlled media quickly declared that the protests had been whipped up by "external forces", by which they mean Russia. Opposition leaders who have called for action have been tarred 'Putin's agents'.

Recession

After the crisis in 2011, the economy slipped into recession. Forecasts for growth in the next few years are all negative. This means that many state and semi-state organisations, and even whole sectors which are dependent on state subsidies, have to cut expenditures, cut wages and sack workers.

Lukashenko just keeps loading the economic problems of the government onto the shoulders of working class Belarusians. Opinion polls suggest that since the crisis in 2011, there has been a sharp drop in his support; 60% now say they have no confidence in him.

Practically all the opposition forces who want to take power from Lukashenko are pro-capitalist and will try to take over leadership of these new protests.

A programme is needed that offers an answer not just to oppose Lukashenko and the pro-capitalist right-wing opposition, but also against any attempt at imperialist intervention, whether by Russia or by western interests.

This should be based on the understanding that the only way to guarantee a genuinely independent Belarus is through socialist measures and solidarity in struggle with workers in Europe and the Russia-dominated Commonwealth of Independent States (which succeeded the Soviet Union) against their own governments.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 29 March 2017:


What we think

Unite against terror, racism and war


Socialist Party news and analysis

NHS: protest, strike, occupy to win!

No to racist scapegoating: oppose the far right

Top banks post 67% of profits in tax havens - nationalise the banks!

Prescription and dental charges to rise again - fight for a free NHS!

Homelessness agencies accused of being complicit in coercive deportations

Leeds Labour councillors resign over cuts

Times makes call for Tory entryism

Martin McGuinness: from IRA leader to Stormont minister


Russian revolution 1917-2017

April 1917: how the Bolsheviks reorientated


Workplace news and analysis

Doncaster: snap strike by posties pushes bully bosses back

Over a thousand march with Durham TAs against 23% pay cut

Join the 31 March PCS pay protest

Bridgend Ford overtime stoppage in sourcing dispute

Forest Hill school in Lewisham fights back

Dispute against backdoor privatisation of mental health services

Ballot papers go out in Unite elections

Fujitsu strikes: Manchester and Warrington

Deliveroo victory in Leeds

TUSC backs RMT struggle against Merseyrail


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Universal Credit is making the housing crisis worse

Save Cardiff's live music venues

Women need secure jobs and equal pay, not patronising 'returnships'

Why I Joined: "I joined Socialist Party to campaign to save the NHS"

The Socialist Inbox


International socialist news and analysis

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

Belarus: movement developing against regime


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Jobstown Not Guilty: defend the right to protest

Angry march against Bradford council-approved incinerator

GMB union should support anti-fracking campaigners in Fylde

"Save our Nurseries", Tower Hamlets campaigners tell the council

South Yorkshire Freedom Riders celebrate three years of fighting

Memorial meeting remembers Bernard Roome

Save Plymouth's libraries!

May Day greetings in the Socialist


 

Home   |   The Socialist 29 March 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Europe:

triangleMelenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force

triangleFrance: Groundswell of support for left candidate

triangleFight for a socialist Brexit

triangleBristol Socialist Party: Right wing populism in Europe

Russia:

triangleProtests in solidarity with LGBT+ people facing persecution in Chechnya

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Russia 1917 - Lenin's April Theses

State:

triangleTurkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

triangleCuts leave schools unable to meet basic needs

Government:

triangleTUSC's programme for local jobs and services

Capitalist:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

International

International

26/4/17

France

Melenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force

26/4/17

Ireland

Jobstown trial begins

19/4/17

Turkey

Turkey: constitutional referendum result a pyrrhic victory for Erdogan

19/4/17

Trump

Trump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

19/4/17

Ireland

Protest is not a crime: back Jobstown Not Guilty

19/4/17

France

Melenchon result shows potential for building a mass left force

19/4/17

CWI

Relaunch of socialistworld.net

12/4/17

France

France: Groundswell of support for left candidate

12/4/17

Ireland

Ireland: Bury the water charges

12/4/17

Syria

Attacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

5/4/17

Ireland

Gagged Jobstown defendants defiantly expose the Irish state

5/4/17

Yemen

Justice for Yemen workers

5/4/17

Japan

Fukushima nuclear disaster - a terrifying legacy

5/4/17

Turkey

Turkey: Erdogan seeks sweeping dictatorial powers in referendum

29/3/17

South Africa

South Africa: Unity against poverty, crime and xenophobia

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle26 Apr Health Campaigns Together meets to chart the way forward

triangle26 Apr TUSC's programme for local jobs and services

triangle26 Apr Jobstown trial begins

triangle26 Apr The real origins of May Day

triangle26 Apr How Blairism sank its claws into the Labour Party

triangle26 Apr BMW strikers determined to win pensions dispute

triangle25 Apr A bold socialist campaign could get rid of the Tories

More ...

triangle2 May Doncaster TUSC election rally: Tories Out, Corbyn4PM, Socialist Steve for mayor

triangle2 May Manchester Socialist Party: Can Corbyn win on socialist policies?

triangle2 May Bristol Socialist Party: Kick he Tories out!

triangle2 May Merseyside TUSC pre-election public meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice