Wednesday, 15 August 2012

#BearsForBelarus

Yesterday evening I finally got round to taking part in Liberal Youth's Bears for Belarus campaign. I'm quite pleased about this as it is rather an important cause.

You see, Belarus is the last dictatorship in Europe - run by Andrie Lukashenko who still calls his security forces the KGB and who is imprisons and tortures democracy campaigners (including members of Belarus' equivalent of Liberal Youth).

So a few weeks ago a small Swedish PR firm flew a plane into Belarus and parachuted teddy bears holding pro-democracy placards into Minsk, the capital of Belarus.

A week later two journalism students in Belarus were arrested for taking pictures of themselves with a soft toy.

You see, that's the kind of man Lukashenko is - he imprisons people over small cuddly toys.

So Liberal Youth has organised the Bears for Belarus campaign where people take pictures of  themselves with soft toys to show solidarity with journalists and freedom campaigners in Belarus.

The website for the campaign can be found here and it's be really great if all of you could get involved - apparently there's been an absolutely amazing response so far.

And, for what it's worth, here's a picture of me with my teddy bear:


Long live freedom and long live democracy - may they come to Belarus soon.

7 comments:

  1. Hear hear.

    Like you, I hope that this awful man is soon replaced. Unfortunately I think that when the day comes and he heads for hell, his daughter, a close friend of prince Andrew, will take over. A great pity.

    Your teddy bear looks absolutely lovely. I don't know how you can bear (hmmm) to part from him... but I suspect he will make some little boy or little girl in that benighted place, very happy, and there isn't a better feeling in the world than that.

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    1. No, this isn't about sending the bears to Belaus - it's about taking photos of bears to show solidarity. If it was about physically sending bears to Belarus then I definitely wouldn't have chosen my most cherished childhood toy - I'm too selfish to do so.

      I do have a lot of other soft toys sitting in cardboard boxes in the attic though so I suppose it might be an idea to find out if there's some way I can donate them though...

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    2. LOL Sorry... Misunderstood.

      Well, he's a cute as a button, as they say, and I can well imagine that you would never want to part with him. (I'm a bit of a softy for Teddy Bears and Penguins.)

      If you find an address to send stuff to George, will you email it to me. I used to do stuff through my mum's church for Romanian kids, but the contact who provided transport and drivers died.

      I'd love to be able to give something to kids in Belarus.

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    3. Yep - he's very well loved :)

      I couldn't find anything in particular relating to ways to send toys to Belarus but I did find this charity which delivers toys to children all over the world, including in Belarus:

      http://www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/how-to-pack-your-shoebox

      And there's also quite a few other charities working with children in Belarus that I've come across as well. In particular there's this one working with orphans:

      http://www.soschildrensvillages.org.uk/sponsor-a-child/europe/belarus?gclid=CL_JppS56rECFRGBfAodgkQAxg

      And there are also quite a lot working with the various child victims of Chernobyl as Belarus got most of the fall out from that as well.

      It's really quite depressing to think what that country has been through and is still going through :(

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  2. Thanks George. I'll make sure that they get something.

    Shoeboxes are great. That was what we did for Romania. It's amazing what you can get in a shoebox, and the fun you have imagining the reaction of "your" little boy or little girl is a lovely feeling.

    Much appreciated. :)

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