Today, July 24, Sviatlana Tikhanouskaya held rallies along with Veranika Tsapkala and Maria Kalesnikava. Check out the highlights of their speeches below!
Sviatlana Tikhanouskaya, Hlybokaye
I accepted support from the campaign teams of Viktar Babaryka and Valery Tsapkala to jointly lead Belarus to a happy life. What the authorities cannot agree on, three women decided in 15 minutes. Now, united, we are moving towards victory.
My program is not your usual program of a presidential candidate. The main point of my program is new, honest and fair elections. The elections should include all the candidates who were arbitrarily excluded, jailed, whose lives authorities tried to destroy for simply trying to become a president and improve life in Belarus. This is my goal and the goal of all Belarusians who want to live in a free, prosperous country! For 20 years we’ve been offered fake elections, not an independent choice. I am here to change this. This is my fate and this is the fate shared by all of us.
This is the first time I am in your beautiful city. I will definitely come back here to visit the famous cathedral and church, I will try to attend the Cherry Festival. I hope it’s duration will not be curtailed like this year. One day instead of five? The authorities cannot decide whether or not we have a coronavirus. There is a coronavirus for the Cherry Festival in Hlybokaye. But when it comes to Slavianski Bazar, where the current president listens to Stas Mikhailov, the virus has been defeated. Is this honest? No! Is this fair? No!
What is happening with the coronavirus in the country? Why is it that first there is a virus, then there is none, and all depending on whether or not its presence is convenient to the authorities. If a parade is needed, then there is no virus. If they want to ban independent election observers, then there is a virus. It’s a shame!
There is no reason to expect justice from the current government.
Small cities should flourish and develop. They shouldn’t be treated as an afterthought, made do with leftovers from the capital and regional centers.
All we want is security, prosperity, respect and freedom. We do not have anything from this list and will not attain it unless we, together, change the government.
Sviatlana Tikhanouskaya, Navapolack
Belarus is not a mere patch of land, as the current president keeps telling us, but a big beautiful country. We have independent, educated people. We have large cities, we ourselves have created prosperous enterprises, like the ones here in Navapolack.
But does a Belarusian benefit from this? Where is the money that we earned? The money is not being spent to our benefit, it is spent on fighting against us, peaceful Belarusians!
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Maria Kalesnikava, Navapolack
Navapolack, can you breathe? On TV we are told to breathe clean Belarusian air, but what are we to do when there is formaldehyde in the air?
What are we to do when many Belarusians still live in apartment buildings and hostels located near factories and plants? Let’s remember where the current government and its entourage live. These are palaces, elite villages, pretentious cottages. Do they breathe harmful emissions? No! They enjoy the sea breeze in foreign resorts, and then continue being crude to us and keep promising a salary of 500 for ten years.
Highway right under your window? Be patient, authorities say. Nuclear power plant? Be patient, authorities say. We also have to put up with the battery factory, as we tolerate miserable pensions, penny wages and humiliation. But Belarus is not a garbage dump, it is a beautiful, amazing country.
Maria Kalesnikava, Viciebsk
Today we had a busy day and it is so nice to finish this day in your cozy city, in such a wonderful company! Thank you for coming, friends! We see that Viciebsk is also longing for change, it also wants to live in a new country, it wishes for the crumbling jalopy of government to reach its final destination!
Viciebsk, I am proud to stand here on your land. It takes my breath away to know how many great people Viciebsk has gifted to the world. We are proud of you! But why aren’t the authorities proud of you?
How can the government, proud of its people, let them live on such a measly salary? How come they flood the city with Tabakerki, instead of planting trees and setting up parks? How can they spend $70,000 on an honor plaque instead of renovating hospitals?
While officials, who do not care about people, are forcing people to attend parades and subbotniks, the quality of “Slavianski Bazaar” will soon become worse than the quality of Viciebsk roads.
Now the authorities are trying to convince us that their rating is high. If they have a high rating, why are there so many people here right now? Why did so many people show up at our rallies in Borisov yesterday and today in Navapolack and Hlybokaye? The authorities are counting on deceiving people. The authorities hold people for fools, thinking that if they tell a lie, but do it loudly, then people will believe them. Only people haven’t believed for a long time. Do you believe?
Veranika Tsapkala, Viciebsk
I see different flags, a modern one, and a white-red-white one. We are all together, we are one people: what is this divide we are constantly told about? We are all Belarusians and we stand united.
Today I would like to share a personal story. A few days ago, my husband was informed that he was going to be detained. Law enforcement agencies came to my childrens’ school. From what I gather, they are trying to prove that we are a socially dangerous family. Something was going to happen in the following days – that’s a fact. Shame! Now we are separated from our families. Separated from our children. But you are here with us. The people of Belarus.
All opposition candidates are punished. In our country, there is only one opinion – the opinion of the leader of our country. And we want to change that.
Have you ever heard about the war from any opposition candidates? We hear about Maidan and the war only from one person. But all we want is peace, we simply want a normal life in a civilized state.
Thank you very much to everyone who came!
Together we will win!
Photo: Pasha Krychko
See the schedule for further trips here.