Silent protests of Brest residents bring results

In the past two years, Brest residents have gathered more than a hundred times to feed pigeons in the city square. Photo: Belsat

For two years a few tens to several hundred people have been gathering in the center of Brest to ‘feed the pigeons’ and thus protest against the battery factory near the city.

According to human rights activist Raman Kislyak, on Sunday, February 23, 120 people gathered on the main square of Brest. The protesters demanded the complete closure of the IPower Battery Plant.

Now the plant is in the conservation phase, which should last until March 31.

The owners of the plant are looking for ways to get a work permit, while the opponents of the plant are doing everything possible so that what they believe being the harmful production would never launch.

Policemen warn opponents of the plant about administrative responsibility for participation in an unauthorized event. February 23, 2020. Photo: Belsat

According to the participants of the Sunday meetings, the most important result of the two year protest actions was the change in consciousness of the city residents.

Construction of a battery plant in the Brest Free Economic Zone began in late 2017. It was planned for launch first in 2018, then in 2019.

Residents of Brest during a protest against the battery factory. February 23, 2020. Photo: Belsat

Since early 2018, Brest residents have been protesting against the plant’s operation. They believe that lead emissions that exceed permissible norms threaten the health of the local population. Protesters have collected and sent 37 thousand signatures to the Presidential Administration asking them to stop the construction.

In mid-June last year, chairman of Brest region executive committee Anatoli Lis signed an order to stop the construction of the plant, while the company’s management was behind bars. Later, however, the plant underwent an environmental impact assessment and started working.

At the end of January 2020, the company’s management undertook the procedure of conservation of the plant during the environmental impact assessment.