ZHODZINA AUTHORITIES BANNED PICKET IN SUPPORT OF THE NATIONAL LYCEUM
On 27 August Zhodzina branch of Belarusian Language Society (BLS) received a fax from Zhodzina executive committee. The letter, signed by V. M. Kashewski, chair, and U. F. Zaretski, head of city affairs department, said the picket was not permitted.
BLS planned to hold a picket, demanding the authorities must follow the state program of “Expanding the sphere of usage of Belarusian language in the education system”. The picketers also intended to draw public attention to the situation with the National Lyceum.
The authorities motivate the ban by the mass events for the Day of Knowledge, planned at the place of the picket.
The authorities permitted a picket only on 31 August. In violation of the law, they appointed Alaksei Lapitski, chair of Zhodzina BLS responsible for the order during the picket. This was done in spite of the fact that other individuals applied for the picket. The letter says Zhodzina BLS will have to bear all expenses of cleaning the territory after the picket.
Zhodzina BLS plans to apply to court against the ungrounded and illegal decision of the city authorities.
Because of the ban of the picket on 1 September, Zhodzina BLS decided not to carry out the picket, and called on their members to participate in the Day of Knowledge, organized by the authorities. The organization continues to collect signatures of Zhodzina residents in support of the National Lyceum.