The Meeting of Free People will be held on November 16 in the Freedom Square.
Activist of the European Belarus civil campaign Palina Sharenda-Panasyuk, who became known for her outstanding speech on the Belarusian television, commented on the Meeting of Free People, which took place on November 15 in the center of Minsk, for the Charter97.org news website.
- The Meeting of Free People took place today in two squares in Minsk at a time. I specially came from Brest to participate. Despite the preventive arrests of our leaders, and adverse conditions, the action was held. Everyone saw that the regime was so afraid that in early November, they started installing a Christmas tree, before night time. Shaking with fear, Lukashenka started battering down completely new tiles in the Kastrychnitskaya Square. But people still gathered, organized themselves and walked around the city with flags. A rally was held in the Freedom Square, and a legal action opportunity was fully used.
I was shocked at how many young and new faces there were. It can be seen that young people have actually become interested in politics, in what is happening around. The street activity of the European Belarus in the recent months has given its fruit.
After the official end of the rally, people did not disperse and I spoke. I said that such a situation has developed in Belarus that elections for people have ceased to be an opportunity for change, and the regime is not afraid to lose power during the elections. Free elections will certainly be held after Lukashenka leaves. I burned my candidate’s certificate, saying that it wasn’t worth the paper on which it was printed.
On behalf of the European Belarus I thank everyone who came to the Meeting of Free People.
- Is anything known about your husband Andrei Sharenda, who came from Brest with you to the Meeting of Free People?
- For a long time nothing was known about him, Andrei was supposed to come by the beginning of the rally. Then I found out that he, Volha Nikalaychyk, Yauhen Afnahel, and others were arrested. Of course, this is a revenge to all of us for an active election campaign, for everyone who said “Basta to the kolkhoz dictatorship!” A petty and stupid revenge, unworthy of our attention.
- At the Meeting of Free People, a call was made to come out again to the Freedom Square, at 6 p.m. on November 16. Will you be there?
- Of course, my husband and I will try to be there. I urge all free people of Belarus to seize the opportunity and take to the streets to claim their rights and begin to change our lives for the better. We can achieve freedom for our country, I am 100% sure of this.