In the established democracies of the world, we are the proud inheritors of liberty that has been won and defended over the years. Unfortunately, the Belarusian people still don't have their freedom. Since coming to power in 1994, Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenka, a Soviet-style dictator, has violently repressed political discourse and denied his people basic human rights. He has blatantly falsified election results, beaten peaceful protestors, instigated the murder of journalists and politicians, and censored independent media.
Many people simply shake their heads when they hear of such crimes because they feel any action they might take would make little difference. The Ukrainian people, however, proved such pessimists wrong this winter when, with the financial support of individuals like you, they launched the "Orange Revolution" that brought democratic government to their country. With considerable funding from outside Ukraine, the Ukrainian people finally won their liberty. With your financial help, we can help repeat that miracle in Belarus.
Your donation to the BELL Campaign goes to aid ZUBR, the largest nonpartisan pro-democracy student movement in Belarus. ZUBR uses the same model of nonviolent opposition that Ukrainian students and activists employed. With your financial aid, ZUBR can continue to distribute pro-democracy newspapers and leaflets across Belarus. ZUBR's popular publications inform the public of news that is otherwise censored and helps enlist the Belarusian population in a campaign of civil disobedience against the dictatorship by demanding the release of political prisoners, implementation of democratic reforms and respect for basic human rights. You can directly advance the cause of freedom in Belarus by helping ZUBR pay for the printing of these publications.
SGD empowers average citizens in established democracies and Belarusians to work together as Belarus approaches its next presidential election in 2006. Lukashenka will almost certainly attempt to rig the elections to gain the appearance of victory, but the election will give ZUBR and its political allies their greatest opportunity yet to fight electoral fraud and repression, and bring down the dictatorship with the attention of the entire world.
SGD works closely with the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Thanks to its assistance, SGD offers you a way to make a tax-deductible charitable donation directly to the Belarusian democracy activist movement.
Please help us and the Belarusian people make history by supporting SGD’s BELL Campaign with a donation of $25, $50, $100, or even $1000 (which pays for 60,000 ZUBR newspapers). For more information on the BELL Campaign and how to donate, please see the enclosed brochure.
©2005 Students for Global Democracy, Inc.
Students for Global Democracy
900 E. 7th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405