DCN SE Hub News

August 4. Belarus: Mechanisms of a Popular Revolt

In Belarus, Aliaksandr Lukashenka may be facing the most severe threat to his regime since he took power in 1994. The government’s inept response to the coronavirus pandemic has made the president vulnerable. Multiple opposition candidates, bloggers, and digital influencers have already been arrested and face jail sentences for political activity. Thousands took to the streets to protest the regime and the unfair candidate registration process. Major opposition forces unified around Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, an English language teacher and wife of imprisoned wannabe candidate, Siarhiej Tsikhanouski. Siarhiej is also a popular YouTuber. After the arrest of her husband, Sviatlana has gained increasing popularity. She is gathering thousands at her rallies in Minsk and in other regions, which is unprecedented for Belarus. People self-organize through Youtube and Instagram and coordinate activities via Telegram.

The rise of civil society in Belarus can be compared to the freedom and anti-communist movements in the late 1980s. However, what makes this moment in organizing different is the availability of digital communication technology and its power in mobilizing and spreading information. This virtual webinar discusses the ongoing developments in Belarus and the behind-the-scenes mechanics and organizational processes. We look into the nature of the protest and its roots as well as the impact of new technologies.

  • Franak Viacorka, Digital Communication Network & Consortium BNR100, Belarus
  • Irena Lasota, President/co-director of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe, USA
  • Natalia Kaliada, Director of Creative Politics Hub and co-Founder of Belarus Free Theatre. Diplomat, Historian and Writer, U.K.
  • Vytis Jurkonis, Project Director, Freedom House, Lithuania
  • David Marples, Professor, University of Alberta, Canada

Tuesday, August 4, 2020
10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. EDT / 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. EEST
Click here to register