The new strategy implemented for the first time this afternoon has not succeeded in attracting more people and attention to the „Revolution through social networks” protests. Participants were asked to come to the local market places at 1 pm instead of taking the traditional stroll on Wednesday evening at the main city squares.
Police have carefully prepared for the action. The accesses to the social network Vkontaktie.ru (which hosts “Revolution’s” page) was blocked. There were many policemen at the main Minsk market, some in uniforms and some undercover, busy recording faces of people doing their groceries. According to Belsat TV correspondent, the action did not really take place. – You could have had an impression that the call out to come to the market was only heard by the police and journalists – she commented. Media reporters were allowed to enter the market, but banned from taking pictures or recording videos.
Radio Svoboda reported that less than a dozen people showed up at the market place in Mohylevo. They played from their cell phones a banned song “Changes” by Viktor Tsoya. Nor the police, neither the shopkeepers paid any attention to the protesters.
Silent protests, organized by the „Revolution through social networks” have been held every Wednesday in various Belarusian cities since June 8th. Since the beginning of the action, 1900 people have detained. Police have been stopping random protesters and treating them in a very brutal manner.
The silent protest at the market is now the second action that failed. Last week, very few people decided to participate in the evening stroll at the main squares. Participants are very critical of the coordinators idea to change the protests strategy and change Wednesday to Saturday. They are also concerned that not everyone is receiving all the updates about the new forms of the protest.