The day in the Oboiševi family starts with discussing the latest news from Belarus. As Sunday evening is scheduled for a demonstration in the center of London, posters are currently being prepared, Belarusian flags being sewn.
The family's demonstration on 23 August will be the fifth. “I am a former member of the Latvian barricades, and I know very well what it is to defend freedom and independence, so I go on to defend Belarus,” Oļegs Oboiševs said.
Everything started when the family went to the first demonstration near the Belarusian embassy to support Belarusians protesting against falsification of electoral results.
“First question – please, where are you coming from, which Belarusian city? We are from Riga, it is not the city of Belarus, it is the capital city of Latvia! Perhaps you are citizens of Belarus? No, we are citizens of Latvia. - Well then, exchange contact information, are you ready to help? Yeah, super. Somehow, at one point, it turns from simply standing in the crowd to more active participation. Help something organizationally, talk, give an interview, attract journalists from different channels and countries," said Stanislavs Oboiševs.
A 35-meter-long flag has also been made to draw more people's attention.
“The British come to us, too, and they ask, they don't understand. We chant Stop killing people in demonstrations. Free Belarus. They don't understand what killing, what about the killing. (..) They ask questions – what killing you are talking about. And then we show those people with missing eyes, their torn-up backs, the most cruel bruises, the look of people who were simply tortured,” said Janina Oboiševa.
The family finds out about the violence directly from their friends and acquaintances in Belarus. “That they, for 3 days, don't know where their kids are. And then this young man, one of them, has come home after 3 days and shown the way he looks. He's all bruised, he's traumatized psychologically and physically,” said Janina Oboiševa.
A Belarusian woman who briefly entered the family's house was afraid to reveal her name and face, but with tears in her eyes she talked about what was happening in Belarus. “There are very many injured, there are very many killed in their own home. Doctors don't report the truth about how many have died and suffered from power structures. People are killed in the corridors of houses, people are being caught in the subway, going home from work. People are raped, tortured,” said the Belarusian woman.
Belarusians are currently very intimidated, including those who live abroad, and therefore need support. “We are prepared to continue to go to the streets, to continue to draw people's attention to what is happening in Belarus, and to be a loudspeaker that simply says – people, please pay attention to what is happening in our neighboring country to ordinary peaceful people. So we will continue to defend their interests, try to help them in any way. Under the law, of course,” said Stanislavs Oboiševs.