Massive protests planned in Belarus on March 25
A large-scale rally is scheduled to be held on March 25 in Minsk, as Belarusians continue to protest against the government’s plan to levy “a tax on layabouts”, Euroradio reported, citing an organizer Nikolai Statkevich.
The 200 USD tax is to be imposed on those who are not officially employed, which even makes Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Aleksievich liable.
When the protests first kicked off in Minsk and other Belarusian cities a month ago, the government responded by suspending the tax plans. Then shortly afterwards a crackdown on the protesters began, as court proceedings were launched against some of them.
“These brutal actions are only making these people angry and may lead to radicalization of the protests,” Statkevich said. “If the government moves to ‘neutralize’ the protest leaders, the protests may escalate to become a far greater danger to it.”
He called on president Alxender Lukashenko to come to the March 25 rally and talk to the people.
He also called on people to be perseverant and to continue protesting. This should only leave two scenarios for the government: “it will either have to make concessions, or start falling apart”, he said.