Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) to Hold Actions of Solidarity with Opposition Movement of Belarus in European Cities
The Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) have for long been working to improve the democratic situation in Belarus - a country where journalists and regime critiques are being muzzled and civil society activity is forbidden. Now we would like to invite all young Europeans to join us to fight against the last dictatorship in Europe!
On the night of 18-19 March 2007 JEF will organise a coordinated pan-European action in numerous cities across the continent to show support to the suppressed civil society and opposition movements in Belarus. The action consists of gagging statues in small and big cities throughout the continent that will symbolically be prevented from speaking freely, much like the current situation of the people in Belarus. Signs such as “Give a voice to the citizens of Belarus” will be hanged around the necks of the statues, just as in the pictures above. We want to show the Belarusian citizens and democracy movements that they have support all over Europe and at the same time make sure that their situation is not forgotten about by the European public or by our governments.
A similar action was successfully organised by JEF last year, right before the Belarus elections, in 23 European cities (more on the action 2006). JEF together with other NGOs, youngsters and Belarusian refugees gagged statues in Barcelona, Bordeaux, Brussels, Chemnitz, Dus-seldorf, Edinburgh, Gothenburg, Lille, Ljubljana, Maribor, Lindkцping, Mainz, Padova, Paris, Stockholm, Uppsala, Vдxjц, Riga, Freiburg, Wuppertal, Copenhagen, Skopje, Helsinki. The action gained a lot of media coverage across Europe and it was also spread to Belarus via internet-based media, radio interviews etc. Now our aim is to revitalise this very successful public action every year on the 19 March, the anniversary of the Belarus “elections”, until the day Lukashenko’s dictatorship falls – every year involving more cities and involving more peo-ple!
JEF would like to invite everyone to join us in this action against Europe’s last dictatorship the night between 18-19 March – all it takes is some tape, a piece of paper and warm clothes! Organise a common action with your organisation or encourage your members to take part in the action alone, with friends or to join JEFґs local section – simply contact firstname.lastname@example.org to hear where something is happening, to tell about your plans or with any questions you might have. Please also send any pictures from the statues you gagged to this address to go immediate online on www.jef.eu together with all other pictures from across Europe!
We hope you are able to encourage young people and your networks to follow JEF’s initiative and go to the streets on the night 18-19 March. Below you will find a short invitation (in English and Russian) that we encourage you to spread to your networks and anyone you think might be interested in the fight against Europe’s last dictatorship. The more different NGOs work together for important issues as this, the more we can show the true impact of civil society working across the borders of Europe.