“European leaders may fail to take the lead in addressing issues of human rights and democracy in Belarus, but European youth will not be silenced!” affirmed Samuele Pii, President JEF Europe. “Through this action we demonstrate that European youth is united in solidarity with the people of Belarus, giving them a hope for the future. JEF Europe will continue to defend freedom of speech and condemn all signs of oppression and violence until the last European dictatorship falls!” Pii continued.
With the slogan, “Europe, Give the People of Belarus a Voice!” the 2008 action will focus on Europe’s responsibility to act as one, in defence of human rights and democracy in Belarus. Activists will gag statues using EU flags, as a provocative message to EU leaders.
“It’s time for Europe to act! Sanctions and travel bans alone will not bring democracy to Belarus” declared Toni Giugliano, Vice President JEF Europe and Action Co-ordinator. “This year’s action will remind our leaders that as immediate neighbours, the EU has the direct responsibility to react in defence of the Belarusian people. Europe really can, give the people of Belarus a voice” continued Toni Giugliano. The date of the action coincides with the Belarus presidential elections of 2006, whereby Lukashenko declared victory with 82% of the vote. All youth organisations across Europe and the world who believe in the values of democracy and respect for human rights are invited to participate.