Europe, Give the People of Belarus a Voice!

Over 70 cities across Europe to demonstrate against Europe’s last dictatorship!

, by JEF Europe

Europe, Give the People of Belarus a Voice!

On the night of 18-19 March 2008 JEF will organise a coordinated pan-European action in numerous cities across Europe and the world to show support to the suppressed civil society and opposition movements in Belarus. The action consists of gagging statues in small and big cities throughout the world that will symbolically be prevented from speaking freely, much like the current situation of the people in Belarus.

The Young European Federalists (JEF-Europe) have for long been raising awareness about the degrading political situation in Belarus and calling for an end to the undemocratic and dictatorship-like system of government in the country. JEF Europe would like to invite your organisation to join us to fight against the last dictatorship in Europe!

We want to show to the Belarusian citizens and democracy movements that they have support from all over Europe and at the same time make sure that their situation is not forgotten by the European public or by our governments.

The 2008 action will focus on Europe’s responsibility to act in defence of the Belarusian people. Signs such as “Europe, Give the People of Belarus a Voice!” will be hanged around the necks of the statues and their mouths will be covered by EU coloured cloths - symbolically calling the EU to act against the unjust dictatorship.

70+ cities across Europe standing up for democracy in Belarus

It’s confirmed. Over 70 cities across Europe, from Tromsø to Istanbul, from Porto to Kaunas will protest against Lukashenko’s unjust Belarus dictatorship on the night of 18th March. Activists across the continent will gag statues - symbolically preventing them from speaking freely - much like the current situation for many Belarusian citizens and leaders of democracy and oppositions movements.

“Young people in Europe passionately believe in democracy, liberty and respect for human rights. Many take these rights for granted, but we cannot forget that in the EU’s back garden, a dictatorship is still standing. We must react in defence of those who are denied these basic rights” said Toni Giugliano, Action co-ordinator and Vice President JEF Europe.

“A European Union with one single and decisive voice could really bring freedom to the people of Belarus” stated Samuele Pii, President JEF Europe . With the sign ’Europe, Give the People of Belarus a Voice’, JEF demands that the European Union and the international community take action to address crimes and violations of human rights, freedom of speech and elections procedures in Belarus. “Citizens of Belarus! JEF Europe is close to you...times will change!” concluded Samuele Pii.

On 19th March, a demonstration organised by JEF Europe will take place outside the European Institution buildings in Brussels. Activists gagged with EU flags and visible signs will demonstrate, asking the EU to take responsibility and address the political situation in Belarus.

- What: Youth takes to the streets to gag statues using EU flags and with banners saying: “Europe, Give the People of Belarus a Voice!”
- Why: In protest against Europe’s last dictatorship; in defence of human rights & democracy.
- Where: Simultaneously in over 70 cities across Europe and the world. In Brussels on 19th, 12:00, outside the European Council and Commission buildings.
- When: On the night of 18-19 March 2008 - the anniversary of Lukashenko’s condemned election victory.
- Who: Young European Federalists (JEF Europe)

Further information:

*Participating cities in the Belarus Action 2008:

Austria: Graz; Belgium: Leuven, Ghent, Bruges, Brussels; Croatia: Zagreb; Czech Republic: Prague; Denmark: Arhus, Copenhagen, Odense; France: Grenoble, Paris, Nancy, Rennes, Strasbourg, Nîmes, Bordeaux, Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Toulouse, Lyon; Finland: Helsinki; Germany: Augsburg, Berlin, Jena, Freiburg; Greece: Athens; Hungary: Budapest; Ireland: Claire Island; India: Hyderabad; Italy: Milan, Pescara; Kosovo: Pristina; Latvia: Riga; Lithuania: Vilnius, Kaunas; Macedonia: Bitola; Montenegro: Podgorica; Netherlands: Groningen; Norway: Kongsvinger, Kristiansand, Kristiansund, Oslo, Stavanger, Tromsø, Trondheim, Tønsberg, Drammen, Vadsø, Egersund, Göteborg, Grimstad; Poland: Marcinków, Kielce, Warsaw, Katowice, Krakow; Portugal: Lisbon, Porto; Spain: Madrid; Slovakia: Bratislava; Slovenia: Ljubljana; Sweden: Stockholm; Switzerland: Geneva; Turkey: Istanbul; United Kingdom: Bath, Cambridge, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Hull, Leeds, London, Sheffield, York.

*All photos from this year’s action will be published immediately on www.jef.eu Pictures of the 2006 and 2007 actions can also be found there.

*Action posters can be found here: http://files.jef.de/belarus/lukashe...

Your Press Contact:

For further information and updated lists of participating cities, contact Toni Giugliano, Vice President JEF Europe & Action Co-ordinator +44 (0)7756663312 | toni.giugliano at jef.eu; belarus at jef.eu

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