The Corner

Teddy Bears for Freedom in Belarus

The first teddy bear was made in 1902 in Brooklyn, New York, by Morris Michtom. Since then, they have served nobly as the best friends and confidants to children across the world. On July 4th, teddy bears became freedom fighters:

Three members of a Swedish advertising firm planned and carried out the operation last month, adorning more than 800 plush bears with signs promoting democracy and denigrating Belarus’s authoritarian government. 

Though the government at first tried to cover up the incident, which occurred on July 4, the many photographs and videos of the bear drop uploaded to the Internet made it impossible to ignore. On Tuesday, Mr. Lukashenko fired two generals: the head of the border service and the head of the air force.

Two people have [since] been arrested. One, Sergei Basharimov, a real estate agent, rented an apartment to Mr. Cromwell for his brief stay in Minsk. The other was Anton Suryapin, a young blogger and journalism student, who seems only to have posted witnesses’ photographs of the incident on his blog.

Today, Belarus expelled Sweden’s ambassador in response to the bear drop. Lukashenko’s regime is one of the most repressive in the world and the two arrests in this incident are only par for the course in Belarus. This is not even the first teddy-bear-related arrest in Belarus — in February, two activists were jailed for arranging stuffed animals in a “toy protest“ in Minsk. Here is video of the bear drop, and a picture of the bears (don’t worry, they had parachutes).


Most Popular


Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More