Young Front

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Young Front
Belarusian: Малады Фронт
Leader Zmitser Dashkevich[1]
Founded 1997
Ideology Belarusian nationalism
Christian democracy
European affiliation Youth of the European People's Party,
European Democrat Students
Website
http://www.mfront.net/


Young Front (Bel. Малады Фронт, Belarusian pronunciation: [malaˈdɨ ˈfrɔnt], МФ) is a Belarusian youth movement registered in the Czech Republic. It is the largest[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] youth organisation of Belarus declaring democratic values. It is a member of the European Democrat Students.

History[edit]

The Young Front was founded in 1997[10] and incorporated not formed organizationally movement of independent youth, united in its rows tens of youth initiatives and organisations. Since that time the Young Front has passed a number of degrees of its development, having evolved from protest movement of 1996–1997 years in right-centrist organisation according to its political ideology.

  • I YF Congress was held on 6 September 1997; Paval Seviarynets (Minsk),[11] Siarhei Pavlenka (Grodno), Alexander Asiptsov (Mogilev) were elected to be co-Chairmen of the YF
  • II YF Congress held on 10 February 1999 elected Paval Seviarynets to be Chairman of the Movement.
  • III Congress on 1 July 2000 reelected Paval Seviarynets to be YF Chairman and with adopting a program «Young Front of Changes», laid Christian principles and the national idea in the ideological foundation of organization.
  • IV congress on 19 June 2002 reelected Paval Seviarynets to be YF Chairman.
  • V YF Congress divided in two sessions, on 23 May 2004 and 23 January 2005, elected YF co-Chairmen Bakhun Siarhei and Zmitser Dashkevich.
  • VI YF Congress held on 9 March 2008 adopted an updated strategy of the Young Front: Reformation of the Young Front, according to which the movement left the United Democratic Forces of Belarus (UDF). The Congress elected Zmitser Dashkevich to be Chairman of the "Young Front".

Aims and objectives[edit]

The aims of the Young Front are: the union and education of young people on the basis of the Belarusian national idea, Christian-democratic principles, a civil society built on the foundations of democracy and free markets, and the development of a spiritually and physically strong generation.[citation needed]

The main objectives of the Young Front are: the realizing of social and creative initiative among young people, mass and agitation activity in order to revive Belarusian schools, culture, language and forming young peoples' responsibility for their Motherland's fate.[12]

YF leaders[edit]

Activity[edit]

The Young Front has about 1000–1500 activists in its ranks,[citation needed] incorporated in regional and district branches. The supreme body – the Congress takes place at least once every two years. The organization is headed by the Sejm and the Office of the Young Front between the Congresses.

The Young Front is a member of political youth international organizations such as European Democrat Students[13] і the Youth of the European People's Party;[14] has partnerships with sister organizations of Ukraine, Sweden, Lithuania, Poland and other countries.

Since 1997 the Young Front has been holding a permanent socio-political campaign "The city is ours!" On important dates and on the eve of important events, the YF activists hang massive white-red-white national flags from roofs all over Belarus. The campaign actions of “The city is ours!" were held in many cities of Belarus – more than 2000 flags are hung all in all.[citation needed]

As a result of active and successful activity in 1999 the Young Front has already a rating of popularity among young people of 10.8%,[15] trailing only pro-governmental Belarusian Republican Youth Union (48.3%) and BCM (25%).

In 2000 at the parliamentary elections the Young Front held a boycott campaign under the title: "Forgery" – ridicule of electoral farce organized by Lukashenka.

The Young Front during the presidential election campaign in 2001 became the organizer of the Belarusian Youth Congress, in which more than 520 delegates from each part of Belarus took place. It also initiated the signing of special Agreement between the only candidate from the opposition and the youth. During the presidential election campaign in 2001 the Young Front became a mamber of the mobilization campaign “Choose!” During the selection rush the Young Front made more than 1100 moves in more than 120 Belarusian cities.[citation needed]

On 24 September 2001 the Young Front organized guard in the region of Kurapaty, being against the reconstruction of Minsk encircling highway, as it thought that a new road could pass the burials. More than 120 activists took part in 8 months’ move “Kurapaty’s Protection”.[citation needed]

According to the Baltic Service of Gallup Institute over October 2002, the rating of the Young Front among the whole population of Belarus was 6,3%, among the youth (18–30 age) – 14%, what amazing is that all political parties have 0,5%–5% popularity, and “the factor of fear” in the society is very high.[citation needed]

The members of the Young Front participated and won in local council elections (2003) in several districts, took part in the elections to the House of Representatives of Belarus in 2004, but without any success. The block Young Belarus, established by the Young Front was a part of the Committee of democratic political forces, and then formed a part of the United Democratic Forces.

The activists of the Young Front collected more than 40000 signatures against the holding of the referendum in 2004 concerning the remarks to the constitution which lift restrictions for two presidencies.[citation needed] The Young Front organized a protest move at Oktyabir’skaja Square (Kalinouskaga Square). Zmitser Dashkevich, one of the leaders of the Young Front and Young Belarus was arrested and taken to prison for 10 days of the administrative arrest. Pavel Sevyarinets, one of the founders of the Young Front, the leader of Young Belarus was arrested for three years of so-called labour imprisonment for organizing unauthorized demonstrations on the day of the referendum and the next day.

During the 2006 presidential election campaign, the Young Front was one of the organizers of the protests against the falsification of voting results, and also they organised “the encampment” at Oktyabir’skaja Square (20–24 March 2006).

In June 2006, the members of the Young Front, deprecating the criminal persecution of activists of the organization, went on hunger strike, which became one of the longest and mass socio-political hunger strikes. It lasted for 24 days by more than 100 people.[citation needed]

Some activists and leaders of the Young Front traced into the organizing committee of the establishment the Belarusian Christian Democratic Party.

In 2008 the members of the Young Front held a number nationwide campaigns.[citation needed] Within the scope of social campaign "Belarusian Book – To Children" the activists of the Young Front collected thousands of Belarusian-language publications which later were given to orphanages in Minsk and other Belarusian cities. Also the things and money which had been collected at the Christmas festival “Hurry To Do Good” in which lots of Belarusian outstanding musicians and socio-political figures participated were handed to orphanages and boarding schools.

From 7 to 10 December 2008, the Young Front carried out a campaign “Communism before a tribunal” which was finished by a daylong fast. During the campaign the Young Front organized dozens of anticommunist pickets and informational moves in whole Belarus, held extensive social-scientific conference “The Crimes Of Communism. Numbers and Facts”.

In 2008 during the campaign "MTS in Belarusian", firstly started by the Saligorsk blogger, fascinated people addressed a range of letters and e-mails to the headquarters of presentation of “MTS” in Belarus. In response the mobile operator created a Belarusian-language version of website. Later the activists handed the headquarters of the company more than 2500 signs for the Belarusification of the MTS. As a result, customer support service in Belarusian appeared on the receivers of telephone subscribers.

The Young Front is the leader of political street resistant movement, organizing dozens of street protests annually. The most known one among them is a traditional move St. Valentine’s Day. Since its existence the organization carried out dozens of national socio-political campaigns, the most famous of which are the following: "The Move of Love" "The City is Ours", "Belarus to Europe", "Elections", "Choose!", "No to the Third Time", "We Want the New", "Boycott 2008", "Communism Before a Tribunal", "Belarusian Book – To Children", Christmas Festival".

In the 2011 protests following Lukashenko's disputed 2010 re-election, Dashkevich and Eduard Lobau were both arrested for assault. The two were sentenced to two years' and four years' hard labor, respectively.[16] They were subsequently named prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International.[17]

Face-off to Lukashenka’s regime[edit]

Since 2005 the Young Front applied for registration five times from the Ministry of Justice, but it was rejected five times.[18][19][20][21][21][22] The members of the organization believe that the authorities deliberately do not register the organization in order not to have leverages of pressure on the activists by means of unconstitutional article 193-1 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Belarus (sharing in the organization with no carried-out registration). Within the scope of the campaign of resistance to criminal persecution for the activity in the unregistered organization the members of the Young Front registered their own organization in Czech Republic, the documents have been submitted for the registration to Lithuania, planning to get official status in Poland and the Ukraine.

The activists of the Young Front regularly take part in unauthorized demonstrations, during which most of them are arrested by the police. The leaders of the organization and its ordinary members run the administrative persecution, the most prevailing of which are the arrest (till 25 days) and fines. Some of them were condemned: the most famous are the following – Alyaxey Shydlowski, Vadzim Labkovich, Paval Sieviaryniets, Paval Mazhejka, Artur Finkevich, Zmitser Dashkevich.


After the presidential election campaign the criminal cases on Zmitser Dashkevich, Syargej Lisichenak, Baris Garetski and Aleg Korban were opened by Article 193-1 (establishment and management of public association, religious association or political party, which infringe on personality, rights and duties of man and did not get official registration). According to the criminal case the leader of the Young Front Zmitser Dashkevich was condemned for a year and a half of general regime colony (1 November 2006).

During a year other leaders and activists of the Young Front were condemned by this Article – Ivan Shyla (Saligorsk), Anastasia Palazhanka, Zmitser Hvedaruk, Alyaxey Yanushevski, Aleg Korban, Barys Garetski (Minsk), Anastasia Azarka (Nyasvizh), Yaraslaw Gryshchenya (Baranavichy), Katsyarina Salawyova (Polatsk),[23][24] Edward Zelyankov (Zhlobin). They were punished with fines or warnings.

Some criminal proceedings were brought by the same article and did not come to trial. The criminal cases were brought on the following: Kiryl Atamanchyk (Zhlobin), Andrey Tyanyuta (Gomel), Arseni Yagorchanka (Svetlagorsk), Syargey Gudilin, Yaugeni Valkavets, Alyaksandr Chareyka (Zhodzina). The leader of the Young Front in Zhodzina Paval Krasouski was suspected of complicity in explosions in Vitsebsk[25] and committing two homicides. He was taken to investigative isolation ward, and in a month Pavel Krasouski was released for complete lack of evidence.

The members of the Young Front and Belarusian community consider that their friends are condemned for reasons of policy for their opposition activity. The organization held sympathetic actions with the condemned and also with those who found themselves under the criminal persecution. In solidarity with “The Young Front” such outstanding politicians as Alyaksandr Milinkevich, Anatol’ Lyabedz’ka. After the discharge Alyaksandr Kazulin became an honorable member of the Young Front.

Due to strong campaign of solidarity with the chairman of the Young Front Zmitser Dashkevich he was discharged for 1.5 months before the given time. Mentioning the willingness “to sacrifice personal freedom, health and even life in the name of his own ideals” Belarusian daily newspaper Nasha Niva named Zmitser Dashkevich “The Man of 2007”. The activists of the “The Young Front” believe that the said before is the proof of the fact that the Belarusian regime suffered a defeat in the trials to bring to a stop the youth movement.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Гісторыя (Belarusian)
  2. ^ http://old.bchd.info/modules.php?name=News&file=view&news_id=1662
  3. ^ "БРСМ предлагает «Молодому фронту» брать с него пример – БДГ Деловая газета". Bdg.by. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Новости". News.invictory.org. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Наша Ніва". Nn.by. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  6. ^ Валентина Кузнецова (23 October 2006). "Кто финансирует молодежные партии Белоруссии". Ng.ru. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  7. ^ http://bdg.press.net.by/2005/06/2005_06_17.1534/1534_4_2.shtml
  8. ^ "БАЦЬКА НЕ ЛЮБИТ ДЖИНСЫ: Інший Бік – інтерактивний ресурс". Otherside.com.ua. 16 February 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  9. ^ "«Малады фронт» застаецца самай вядомай арганізацыяй моладзі – Наша Ніва: першая беларуская газета". Nn.by. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  10. ^ http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http://www.geocities.com/CapitolHill/Senate/1436/en/eintro.html&date=2009-10-25+06:52:25
  11. ^ [1][dead link]
  12. ^ "Малады Фронт. Нацыянальная ідэя – Хрысьціянскія прынцыпы: Інфармацыя /". Mfront.net. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  13. ^ [2][dead link]
  14. ^ [3][dead link]
  15. ^ "Государственная молодежная политика как важнейшее направление деятельности государства". Ref.by. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  16. ^ "Prisoner’s Godparenthood: Florian Toncar adopts Eduard Lobau". The Baltic Review. 5 July 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  17. ^ "Three new prisoners of conscience in Belarus" (PDF). Amnesty International. 14 April 2011. Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  18. ^ http://www.charter97.org/en/news/2010/1/19/25510/
  19. ^ [4][dead link]
  20. ^ http://spring96.org/be/news/17222/
  21. ^ a b [5][dead link]
  22. ^ "Малады Фронт. Нацыянальная ідэя – Хрысьціянскія прынцыпы: Інфармацыя /". Mfront.net. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  23. ^ photos by Uladz Hrydzin (8 March 2008). "Young Front under Fire – Наша Ніва: першая беларуская газета". Nn.by. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  24. ^ "Polatsk: Detentions after trial over Katsiaryna Salauyova | Belarusian Legal Portal". Prava-by.info. 13 October 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 
  25. ^ "Young Front Member is Arrested in Connection with Viciebsk Explosions". Belngo.info. 25 November 2005. Retrieved 18 October 2011. 

External links[edit]