Despite the fact that the active phase of the protests in Belarus is apparently behind, the favorable attitudes toward the opposition persist. Today though, the protesters are not the ones who marched the streets in August.
While the active male part of the population is no longer ready to waste time walking the streets with banners, the opposition forces have begun to actively involve the most vulnerable sectors of society. In social networks, there are regular calls to participate in the retirees’ march or in the march of the disabled people. Women’s marches are held almost daily. The educational process has been suspended in many schools and universities, because students are holding meetings instead of studying.
During such marches, clashes break out with the police or with the representatives of the counter opposition, who support President Lukashenko. Often women and the elderly fiercely fight off law enforcement representatives.
For example, the 73-year-old pensioner Nina Baginskaya, who gained fame as an active revolutionary, became a kind of symbol of the protests. Various curious cases with representatives of law enforcement agencies with her participation fell into the lenses of cameras.
The most vulnerable social groups are involved in protests by despicable means. The coordinators of the marches allegedly tend to use intimidation and agitate for the future of their grandchildren, pay fees for participating in marches. The most effective method seems to be engagement through blackmail from their relatives. Apparently, young people are dragging their elderly and disabled relatives out into the streets.
However, it seems that in the Belarusian society there are still not enough young people, who are ready to blackmail their relatives and friends in order to attract them to political marches, and therefore the opposition picture is not impressive enough.
The videos available in social networks prove that the overwhelming majority, at least 80% of the activists, are young girls, aged approximately from 16 to 27. Marches of pensioners are largely presented by women. While girls are taking part in marches, the male part of the population is working and earning money, regardless of whether Lukashenko is in power or not, they have to pay for food.
The purpose of using the most vulnerable sectors of society in protest marches is clear. Under Lukashenko, Belarus became a state, at least a social one, and in many respects socialist, focused on support for all segments of the population, but, first of all, the most vulnerable sectors: the elderly, children and the disabled. Using them, the coordinators are trying to strike a blow at the strong side of the current Belarusian state system.
Using disabled and old people to create the necessary picture is disgusting. Sadder is the fact that society actively supports such a policy. The reasons seem to lie in the structure of this society. The youth, represented to a greater extent by non-working young people, strive to stand out and they are ready to support any opposition movements. Moreover, the absence of clear life guidelines makes them the most vulnerable to influence. Thus, the views of future generations of the country are formed according to the spreading neoliberal ideology.
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