A report from a comrade in Belarus

The process of mass protests against the falsification by dictator Lukashenko of the election results in August this year. These days, we were engaged in supporting the national strike committee and helped organize connections between various striking enterprises.

You ask about the peculiarities of life in Belarus, about what is happening in addition to receptions against the dictatorial regime. Firstly, our president is the main COVID-dissident of Europe and we do not take any measures related to quarantine or restriction of economic activity. Secondly, we have a vicious and quite capitalist dictatorship that is covered by the fake facade of Soviet nostalgia. People who get into our country say “Oh, yes, you have everything as in the Soviet Union” you do not have oligarchs, but in fact this is not so. Although in our country, unlike Russia and Ukraine, large machine building and agricultural enterprises have been preserved, called collective farms “Kolkhoz” but all this is only a sign. These are quite capitalist enterprises. In relation to medium-sized factories and factories, we have quite capitalist privatization, the large Lukashenko clan seeks to maintain control, so they become CoLTD with a controlling stake in the state and managers appointed by the authorities. In agriculture, the so-called collective farms have long been part of large capitalist agrarian holdings.

The situation with the rights of workers and labor legislation is even worse. In Russia and even Ukraine, food after the Maidan was decommunized, things in this area are much better than ours. The working class is practically deprived of the right to a legal strike. And enterprises have a system of individual short-term contracts. That is, when entering the job, he concludes a contract for a year after which he can be fired without explanation and severance pay simply without renewing the contract for the next year. In such conditions, the activities of trade unions are practically meaningless.

In general, President Lukashenko’s dream is to establish a hereditary monarchy covered in fleur of left rhetoric as in North Korea. He has long been preparing his son Kolya as his successor.

As for communication through one type or another of messenger, we still have not used Zoom and I am not sure whether it is possible to use it in Belarus. Some of the messengers, for example, Telegram is banned in our country, since they can be used to organize mass protests. We will try to whether we can legally or illegally use Zoom.

With comradely greetings,


Belarus activists released from prison

Workers International welcomes the success of the international campaign on behalf of  jailed Belarusian activists (see previous post) in securing their release from prison.

Belarus: Free union leaders and activists

In the last couple of months, Belarus has experienced rigged elections, mass protests, and severe violence carried out by the security forces.

Union leaders, members of the Belarusian Independent Trade Union (BITU), have been arrested and imprisoned for participating in protests and strike action.

Belarus: Free union leaders and activists.

At the center of these events is the JSC Belaruskali potash fertilizer site.  Dozens of activists and strike committee members at Belaruskali have been prosecuted, threatened, fined and deprived of benefits at work for their activities. BITU vice chair Siarhei Charkasau and three of his comrades, Pavel Puchenia, Yury Korzun and Anatol Bokun are in prison now. One sentence has followed the other while they were still serving their sentence.

BITU and IndustriALL are demanding an end to the persecution of employees of Belaruskali for their participation in the strike, and also those who continue to “work to rule” at Belaruskali. They are demanding an immediate release of the BITU leader and jailed activists.

Please take a moment to support the online campaign – click here.

And please share this message with your friends, family and fellow union members.

Eric Lee