Individuals from around the world can add their voices to condemning the violence and supporting the Belarusian workers exercising their rights by sending a message to Belarusian government officials via the LabourStart campaign.
Ottawa (28 August 2020) — Unrest continues to grow in Belarus following the disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko. Local workers and activists, joined by global allies, are calling for democratic change in the country.
A stolen election
The Belarusian people took to the streets after the presidential election result — the supposedly landslide victory of Alexander Lukashenko — was announced on August 9. Lukashenko has been in power for 26 years.
The European Union has rejected the election result and imposed financial sanctions. The President of the EU, Ursula von der Leyen, has spoken out in support of the Belarusian people and their democratic rights (CBC News).
Riot police quell peaceful protests
Peaceful protests in the capital of Minsk were met with violent crackdown and arrests under orders from the Lukashenko regime. This violent repression signals a continuation of the detention of protestors, intimidation of journalists, and arrests that occurred during the election campaign.
The demonstrations have grown into broad movement, sparking work stoppages across the country, and workers are gathering to discuss a general strike in support of democratic change (Jacobin).
Solidarity with the people of Belarus
Belarusian unions, in partnership with global trade union federations, have launched a campaign against the violence, persecution, and detentions. Individuals from around the world can add their voices to condemning the violence and supporting the Belarusian workers exercising their rights by sending a message to Belarusian government officials via the LabourStart campaign.
The Canadian Labour Congress (CLC), of which NUPGE is an affiliate, has also spoken out about the situation and expressed solidarity with Belarusian workers in their struggle for fundamental human rights and democracy. Hassan Yussuff, CLC President, has also written to Minister of Foreign Affairs, François-Philippe Champagne, urging the Canadian government to take action.
NUPGE echoes the statements of solidarity with the Belarusian people and reiterates the calls to defend democracy and human rights.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 390,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. — NUPGE