Protests against hazardous plant: Brest police detain ‘fox man’

About 100 persons showed up at Sunday’s protest rally in Brest. Soon after the event, the riot police grabbed… a life-size puppet.

On November 11, local residents protested against the construction of a battery plant near Brest. The rallies are held in the central square every Sunday. As the city authorities do not authorise them, people do not make speeches or chant any slogans – they just feed pigeons or carry baloons. Brest residents have repeatedly invited Anatol Lis [‘Lis’ is ‘fox’ in Russian and Belarusian], Chairman of the Brest Regional Executive Committee, to meet with the protesters. But the official fail to come and talk to people.

The protesters might have decided to mock at Mr Lis: one of the participants put a fox costume and appeared at the rally as a life-size puppet. Then he got into the car which was stopped by the police. The fox man was taken to the police station. The protester, whose name is Kanstantsin Astapuk, is being kept at the detention centre at the moment.

Brest protesters feeding pigeons

The battery plant near the city is being built in the free economic zone Brest by a Chinese corporation. The project was commissioned by iPower company. It is planned that the plant will have a full cycle of production of lead-acid batteries.

Residents of the city and surrounding villages believe that the production would harmfully impact their health and the environment. The project opponents say the construction has a number of violations, almost 37 thousand signatures against the plant were sent to Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s administration in February. But the government commission did not find any violations in the implementation of the project.