‘Social parasites’ protests banned in Orša and Brest
On May 24 and 25, local activists of the United Civil Party were going to stage a number of protests against the newly introduced Decree No. 3 “On the prevention of social dependency”.
This question is very painful for the city: here, except one or two, we almost have no businesses. Many local unemployed have to look for an informal job to support their families, since they fall into the category of “parasites”.
The Orša regional executive committee has not allowed the pickets, which were expected to be staged in different parts of the city. The reason for the ban is lack of contracts with utilities, police and medics who have to service the public events. The need to enter into contracts and provide them together with the application for the picket was spelled out in a decision of the Orša city executive committee a few years ago. Since then, not a single street protest has been allowed in the city.
Local activists have repeatedly sued officials, trying to protect their right to peaceful assembly and the right to express their opinions. The city court has summoned representatives of the organizations mentioned in the decision of the executive committee – the clinic, housing and police departments. It turned out that signing a contract is only possible with the communal services. Representatives of the medical institutions argued that their list of paid services had no such activity as servicing street protests. Accordingly, the clinic does not have the right to conclude a contract for a non-existent service. The police also assured that they had the right to provide paid services of this kind. However, they are willing to protect the rule of law free of charge, provided the applicants receive permission from the authorities.
By this logic, the executive committee demands to follow unreal conditions, and, as a result, citizens have virtually no chance to get permission to mass protests in Orša.
In Brest, local activists of the United Civil Party have not been allowed to stage ten protests against the infamous Decree. All the pickets were scheduled for May 25.
The activists were going to express their attitude towards about the introduction of forced labor provided by Decree No. 3 of 2 April 2015. However, the Brest City Executive Committee did not allow to hold the pickets, referring to the fact that the applicants had not concluded special agreements with public utilities, health care and police departments.
One of the applicants of pickets, deputy chairman of the United Civil Party Uladzimir Vuyek is convinced that the protests devoted to the ‘parasites decree’ would cause interest among residents and the ban is due to the fact that the authorities are afraid of a dialogue with the people, especially when it comes to social problems.
It should be noted that the city authorities banned both the pickets that in the center of Brest and those expected to be held in places that the authorities themselves specified for such events the Lakamatyŭ stadium in a pitch in the city park.