For several weeks protesters in Belarus, upset with the condition of the economy, have take to the streets and clapped.
No signs, no chanting, no marching — just clapping — and it’s drawn the ire of local officials who’ve sent more than 1,800 people to jail.
Called “silent demonstrations” the clapping protests have been used to rebel against the expected IMF bailout, the devalued Ruble and the mounting deficit.
Now, The New York Times reports that clapping has given way to cell phone announcements and the buzzing, beeping, and ringing has left officials unsure what to do.
Wednesday evening Minsk’s Yakub Kolas Square filled with skaters, retirees, and young professionals who stood silently until 8 p.m. when their cell phones all went off at once. Secret police ringed the group filming the face of every person there, but made no arrests
Called “dilemma actions” the Belarusian’s are forcing the government to either do nothing or punish people engaged in an apparently harmless activity and risk a public backlash. It’s a risky choice for everyone involved.
“Everyone is afraid,” said a 27-year-old man who said his name was Maksim Pulsov, and who occasionally pulled a checked scarf over his face. “We need some training in not being afraid.”
The video below shows how brutal the arrests for clapping have become:
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