Cover Osteuropa 10-11/2020

In Osteuropa 10-11/2020

Vertical power structure and horizontal solidarity
The state and the protest in Hrodna 2020

Felix Ackermann

Deutsche Fassung


In Hrodna, there were also spontaneous protests against the falsified presidential election. Hundreds of people were arrested. The power vertical in Minsk failed to bring the situation under control by these means. The size of the protests increased, and the city administration in Hrodna took matters into its own hands. It permitted the demonstrations to take place and announced the release of the prisoners. It placed its trust in the representatives of the protest movement and reached organisational agreements with them. This trust was bolstered by the fact that representatives of religious groups participated in the protests alongside workers from the large state-owned enterprises. This reinforced the societal “solidarity horizontal” against state violence. Four days later, Minsk intervened: the heads of the administration in Hrodna were replaced and the power vertical asserted its authority.

(Osteuropa 10-11/2020, pp. 261–280)