Author: Mikhail Doroshevich
Belarusian NGOs activists, has launched "Za Nashikh" ("For our lot") website (http://www.za.nashih.org) for an online campaign against Minsk streets renaming.
This is a joint project of Tawarystwa Belaruskaj Mowy (Belarusian Language Community), Voka (the Eye), Third Way, Partnership NGOs.
On May 7, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko signed a decree on renaming major Minsk avenues - Skoriny and Masherova- to Independence and Victory avenues respectively.
The decree violates the Law on Administrative and Territorial Structure of the Republic of Belarus. According to the article 15 of the Law only local deputy councils are authorized to rename streets in case the citizens agree to renaming.
Belarusian people's indignation has been caused not only by the violation of the law but by the fact that Skorina and Masherov are Belarusian national heroes.
Within the framework of "Za Nashikh" campaign letters of protest will be collected and sent to the Presidential administration and to deputies of the city council. The website provides precise deputies' contact information.
In addition to that it is planned to gather 120 000 signatures which, according to the law will allow to conduct a referendum.
The online campaign is going on parallel to off-line activities. Belarusian Language Community and Voka (the EYE) youth initiative have gathered 4 000 off-line signatures.
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