Actors Jude Law, Kevin Spacey and others took to the streets of London this week to stage a public protest against Alexander Lukashenko, the president of Belarus. According to the protestors, Lukashenko is nothing more than a dictator who has captured a host of political prisoners and their protest this week is meant to call for an end of his regime. Check out some photos from the protest below.
Jude Law and Kevin Spacey joined more than 100 protesters last night calling for an end to the dictatorship in Belarus. They joined campaigners including playwright Sir Tom Stoppard and actor Roger Lloyd Pack to march for freedom of expression in Belarus and the release of political prisoners held by its president, Alexander Lukashenko. Jude, 38, is known for his campaigning, mostly publicly for the UN-backed Peace One Day charity of which he is ambassador and which campaigns for all wars to cease for a day each year on September 21. Spacey, 51, said he was moved to act and protest about human rights violations in Belarus after watching the Belarus Free Theatre (BFT) perform in New York last year. He told the Evening Standard: ‘It’s the only time I’ve read a programme saying nearly every single member of a theatre company has been arrested or imprisoned.’ Law, who has been filming new movie 360 in London over the past with Rachel Weisz, 41, added: ‘Freedom of speech is not just about artistic expression but also about fundamental freedoms. We have the opportunity in this country to be heard and to use our freedom of speech.’ He continued: ‘It’s our responsibility, therefore, that we speak for those who are less fortunate, especially as fellow Europeans. ‘One would hope that this dictator will internationally be recognised for what he’s doing, the tyranny that he’s forcing people to live under.’ The demonstration began outside public relations consultancy firm Grayling, in Victoria, central London, with the protesters calling for the company to end its business within the former Soviet republic. The demonstrators then marched to the House of Commons where the BFT, whose members have been targeted and imprisoned for speaking out against the government of the dictator president, were to perform. American Beauty star Spacey also revealed that he had just discovered that his own films and those of Law have now been banned in Belarus because of their involvement with the protests. He said: ‘They can ban as many films as they want but they will never be able to ban the Belarus people’s right to fight for their freedom and their voices to be heard, and that’s what this protest is about.’
It is rare to see actors become so politically motivated but, I have to say, it’s very refreshing. It makes sense that actors like Law and Spacey would want to add their famous names and faces to the protest because of the way the arts are being censored in Belarus. It’s heartening to see celebs care so deeply for a cause they believe in. It remains to be seen if their involvement will help the cause but kudos to them for standing up and speaking out for something they believe in.