Y’all I just want you guys to know that at the protest tonight in Rochester, cops keep gassing the Frederick Douglass statue on the sidewalk because they think he’s a protester who isn’t leaving
You cannot MAKE THIS SHIT UP
He fits the description
Watch: In a powerful Congresional speech, Sandra Bland’s mother called people who think they’re woke “the walking dead” because of how little we still know
The speech included a rousing call to action before the newly formed Congressional Caucus On Black Women & Girls. And her words were incredibly resonant, even if you think you know the whole story.
Gifs: Josh Begley
fucking hell, plz share this
My heart hurts for these victims and this mother.
On Sunday, Belarus–overseen for over a quarter-century by a brutal imbecile named Alexander Lukashenko–hosted its latest version of what could loosely be called an “election.”
These ersatz plebiscites have long been perfunctory functions that typically end in Lukashenko gaining yet another term in office, the better to continue smothering the independent press, peaceful protesters, and opposition figures alike.
Since ascending to the presidency in 1994, Lukashenko, an unreconstructed Soviet man if there ever was one, has largely succeeded in cementing his power in Minsk and in overseeing a suffocating dictatorship over a swatch of Eastern Europe tha hosted the final days of the Soviet Union.
This time around, however, there was a hitch. Where Lukashenko could previously point to economic stability–buttressed in large part by Puttin’s hydrocarbon-funded subsidies–the global oil crunch has kneecapped Lukashenko’s reliable Moscow benefactors, putting paid to the notion that the Belarusian strongman could alone guarantee Belarus’s economic fortunes.
Meanwhile, Lukashenko, cocooned in his increasingly farcical world of enablers and yes-men, mishandled the coronavirus outbreak in a way that would make even Donald Trump blanch. Not only did Lukashenko claim that the coronavirus was itself as a hoax and a “psychosis,” but he further mused that a vodka-and-sauna regimen would be enough to combat the disease. (Little surprise that Lukashenko is one of the few world leaders to have caught the disease thus far.)
Those twin realities, the economic downturn and the cascading coronavirus crisis, were enough of an impetus for a long dormant and oft-beleaguered opposition movement to begin to stir. When a number of opposition figures burst onto the political scene–ranging from former regime insiders to YouTube bloggers to businessmen disgusted by Lukashenko’s mismanagement–Lukashenko turned to a familiar playbook, blaming their rise on “foreign forces” and proceeding to jail them on fabricated charges. But Lukashenko misjudged the country he spent decades battering. New voices–especially that of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, the wife of jailed YouTuber Sergei Tikhanovsky–entered the fray and picked up the baton of opposition. Lukashenko’s old tricks suddenly faltered and failed.
Buoyed by a post-Soviet generation exhausted with Lukashenko’s viciousness, Sunday’s vote was the most significant election in Belarus’s short history. To win it, Lukashenko deployed all his favorite forms of vote-rigging: outright ballot-stuffing, bought-off “election monitors,” and security forces bloodying protesters. Every trick of the post-Soviet dictator trade was employed. It still wasn’t enough. With Lukashenko declaring a ridiculous 80 percent return on the vote (the vote share that Tikhanovskaya likely earned for herself, if not more), he was the spark that lit the fire that followed.
On Sunday night, that conflagration consumed the country. Incredible footage showed Minsk transformed from a sleepy post-Soviet metropole to one with more foot traffic, and more protesters, than it had ever known. Brave Belarusians walked directly up to the armored personnel carriers and armed police goons blocking the boulevards. Peaceful protesters massed to demand authentic ballot returns. Unarmed voters gathered in blocs, marching to demand transparency, authenticity, and a government that reflected their will.
Belarus remains in a holding pattern. The prevailing social contract, in which Lukashenko retains power in return for economic and socio-political stability, is clearly fractured, perhaps beyond repair. What comes next is anyone’s guess. Lukashenko might cede ground, as we saw in Armenia in 2018, allowing a new generation to rise. He could attempt to cling to power in a manner similar to Ukraine in 2014, in which an aging and rattled despot loses grip while the country devolves into violence and successful overthrow, with a nearby Russia pawing and probing for ways to invade. Or he could go a separate, more horrific route and begin gunning down protesters à la Uzbekistan circa 2005–a solution at which Lukashenko has already terrifyingly hinted.
Whatever comes next in Belarus, Lukashenko’s illiberal gyrations highlight the parameters of modern dictatorship and the depths to which despotic figures will sink in order to retain power. Lukashenko’s ludicrous claim that he won more than three-quarters of Belarusians’ votes illuminates how, and why, modern dictators routinely inflate returns to ridiculous sums. Not only does it allow them to signal strength to wobbling elites, as well as potential external actors (like Russia) eyeing potential territorial gains, but it further illustrates that the regime can blatantly implement fraud and pay no consequences. However, it’s also a means of signaling–as with all of the widespread voter suppression, voter intimidation, and vote manipulation–to the opposition that they remain beaten, battered, and beleaguered.
More broadly, Lukashenko’s efforts highlight just how much his brand of dictatorial misrule has infected regimes both near and far. After all, it’s no longer quite fair to describe Lukashenko as the “last dictator of Europe.” Vladimir Putin in Russia and Ilham Aliyev in Azerbaijan help round out Europe’s dictatorial claque, with Hungary’s Victor Orban eyeing potential entry into their ranks.
For every successful European anti-authoritarian revolution–in Ukraine, in Georgia–a regime elsewhere picked up the slack, carrying the dark torch of dictatorship well into the twenty-first century.
Last Friday there was a pacific protest in Mexico City for what happened to Giovanni [Worker who got beat to death by cops] and in sympathy for George Floyd.
Policemen attacked the protestors.
Here they are beating a SIXTEEN year-old-girl.
Her name is Melanie.
She alive but presents major injuries.
I am asking you to reblog this. Police is a pest.
They’re literally KICKING her HEAD.
Please. Make this viral.
[La policía no me cuida, me cuidan mis amigas]
Hi. If you care about police brutality in the USA you should care about his too. Pls reblog.
The thread attached
“Fuck your first amendment.”
And Republicans still think it’s possible to support the police and the Constitution at the same time.