15. Rallies in defence of independence
Rallies in defence of Belarus’s independence were the main event at the end of the year. MFF members joined the protest rallies in defence of independence in Minsk, Pinsk, New York, and organized them in Orsha, Lida, Vitsebsk, Homel, Warsaw, and Bialystok. In addition, they held a flash mob in social media in support of sovereignty.
“The rallies that took place in Minsk and the whole of Belarus the last month showed that there is a fairly strong protest potential in society, and that the issue of protecting the independence is essential for Belarusians,” said MFF Chairman Yuri Hubarevich. Learn more about the impressions of MFF activists here.
MFF Council member Khristafor Zhaliapau organized early this year a conference in Vitsebsk dedicated to Belarusian statehood and independence.
14. The MFF Forum
The MFF members gathered for a two-day forum to discuss the results of the year and plan the work for 2020. The most active members of the organization were awarded prizes. The organization leadership was satisfied with the results. Learn more about the Forum here.
13. Kastus Kalinouski’s reburial
MFF members visited Vilnius for the reburial ceremony of Kastus Kalinouski and his comrades. A thematic event was also organized in Homel.
12. The election campaign
55 candidates for deputies were nominated for the first time specifically from the MFF as is allowed by the Constitution. Although they have not been registered, 22 MFF members nominated by other methods managed to carry out their full-fledged campaigns. In addition, the MFF has nominated its representatives to all the territorial and district election commissions (only 5 of the 117 representatives were included, with most of them declaring the election invalid, and Halina Mahuchaya made her personal opinion statement).
11. ‘Our Cause’ Youth Forum
The MFF Youth held the second ‘Our Cause’ Forum, which brought together more than 90 people. Learn the opinions of the organizers and participants about the Forum here (which are mostly positive).
10. ‘Women Power’ School
The first Women Power School was held in Minsk in August. 16 local female leaders, who will be future activists and candidates at the election campaign, have successfully completed the course. Over the two sessions, they have got to know how to improve their skills and enhance professional competence, develop leadership skills, become more efficient, confident, convincing, and successful in order to subsequently implement their ambitious plans in favour of Belarus.
9. Regional Leadership Schools
Leadership Schools for the regional MFF activists were held over the three summer months. The participants learned how to conduct local campaigns, learned about the legal aspects of these processes, and discussed the political situation in Belarus.
8. Commemorating the Kalinouski rebels
A number of events in honour of the Kalinouski rebels were held this year. New memorial plaques and crosses were installed on the burial sites in Hrodna region. Independence Day was celebrated in Lida district by a prayer in the Rebels Chapel, consecration of a new cross at the burial site, performances beside the rebel graves, and a thematic exhibition.
In addition, at the initiative of MFF Orsha Coordinator Yuras Nahorny, a new memorial plaque was installed at the site of the rebels’ last battle in Liozna district.
7. MFF Summer School
We continue to educate the most active, the most intelligent, and the most inquisitive young Belarusians. We organized four schools this year — three first level schools in Belarus and a second level school in Bialystok. We are proud of each of our graduates.
6. National Embroidered Shirt Day
Embroidered Shirt Day in Baranavichi, organized by the local MFF branch, passed in a quiet friendly atmosphere. About 50 people came to the celebration from several regions of Belarus — Brest region, Hrodna region, and Minsk City.
5. Vasil Bykau Day
The MFF organized Vasil Bikau Day on the 95th anniversary of the writer’s birth in his home village of Bichki. The participants spoke about the significance of Bikau’s figure, read his works, and watched the concert. The celebration gathered more than 100 people.
4. A guide for foreign guests of the European Games
The MFF made a list of the 5 most dangerous and bizarre bans in Belarus in order to prevent foreign visitors about possible unusual situations during the European Games. You can find the list here.
3. Freedom Day
The celebration on March 24 in Kijeuski Square lasted six hours and gathered, according to various estimates, up to 5,000 people. MFF Chairman Yuri Hubarevich assessed it as successful. You can find the summary here.
2. The Syrytsa Prize
This year’s winner of the Viktar Syrytsa Prize, awarded by the MFF for the third year in a row, became Ihar Stankevich for the campaign of perpetuation of the memory of Stalinist repressions’ victims in Orsha district.
1. Václav Havel memorial evening
The traditional evening of memory of the famous Czech politician Václav Havel took place in January in Minsk. “Václav Havel is one of the first honourable foreigners, whose name must be perpetuated in our toponymy,” said Yury Hubarevich.
This list is far from being complete — we did not include a lot of interesting regional and national events. Otherwise, the list would be several times longer. We wish every democrat productive work in the next year, which will bring us new interesting events and the presidential campaign!