When you ride in a bus fully-packed with passengers, it is enough to make even a smallest move to get everyone around irritated. Moving in the circles close to the Belarusian opposition movement is the same. Every non-standard action is likely to cause a quarrel.

Different opposition groups are now preparing for the 25 March celebration of the Freedom Day – the day Belarus declared its independence in 1918 for the first time. Needless to say, the celebration is not favored by the present neo-soviet regime. This year 25 March will be marked as the Day of Belarusian Unity. One of the opposition groups (I’d rather not risk to point out exactly which one) is actively putting these stickers on the walls of Minsk buildings:

Translation: “For Freedom! For Belarus! 25 March, Minsk, October Square, the Day of Belarusian Unity”.

It’s probably the first time an opposition group uses the official green-red flag of the regime together with the banned white-red-white flag, the symbol dear to the people who oppose the regime. The idea is more or less clear: the Day of Belarusian Unity means unity with everyone, no matter which flag they like. Still, this idea caused a tremendous quarrel within the opposition – many people find it topical and smart, but even more believe it to be a provocation, an insult to their feelings or at least a stupidity. The main issue is whether it is moral to put the “red-green” flag, which is a creation of Lukashenka, side by side with the white-red-white flag, which stands for all those, who are repressed by people, waving the same “red-green” flag.

In my view, the idea behind a sticker action is good. The positions of different parts of Belarusian society should be brought together. Our people undoubtedly share the same basic values – the independence of Belarus, the aspiration to fairness and justice equal for all – no matter which flag someone likes. At the same time, the “sticker” action has such a ridiculously small scale, that it will simply remain unnoticed by the “red-green” people, but will cause a serious dissent in the rows of the „white-red-white” people. In the whole, what we get now is a normal Belarusian situation: a good idea is poorly implemented, a sincere move turns into an evil provocation. This way even the Day of Belarusian Unity seems to further split the society into small factions.

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