On the night of 18-19 March 2009 JEF organises for the 4th consecutive year a coordinated pan-European action in more than 80 cities across Europe and the world to show support to the suppressed civil society and opposition movements in Belarus. The action consists of gagging statues in small and big cities throughout the world that will symbolically be prevented from speaking freely, much like the current situation of the people in Belarus. This time JEF stresses the fact that European desperately needs a European Foreign Policy to deal with global issues. 27 different national positions only result in dysfunctional action, often failing to address the fundamental issues.
Free Belarus action Graz Source JEF Europe
A Free Belarus. Belarus, often described as 'Europe's last dictatorship', is a country where dictatorship rules. Where freedom of the press, establishment of NGOs and respect for human rights are still distant dreams. Belarus is at our doorstep, not the other side of the world - but somehow Europe is incapable of responding to the serious human rights crimes. Why? Because the EU doesn't have the necessary means to react.
What: Street actions to gag statues with banners saying: "It's Time for Change: It's Time for a FREE BELARUS!"
Where: Simultaneously in cities across Europe and the world.
When: 18th March 2009 - the anniversary of Lukashenko's condemned election victory.
Why: Belarus - The last dictatorship in Europe, at the EU's doorstep is a prime example of what the EU needs to act on. It's important to highlight the absence of a SINGLE EUROPEAN FOREIGN POLICY needed to address the situation in Belarus as well as other global challenges.
How: putting street actions pictures on the JEF website within few hours from the action, so as to give a complete idea of the number and type of actions across Europe and elsewhere.