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Economic woes drive Belarussians toward a rather benign form of anarchy

In the surreal world of Belarus, standing in line outside a shop could be considered subversive.

When I saw this picture, I remembered reading about a new law drafted by the government of Alexander Lukashenko, who is frequently described as "Europe's last dictator."

The New York Times reported the proposed law thus: In Belarus, Just Being Can Prompt an Arrest. The paper explained:

[The draft law] prohibits the "joint mass presence of citizens in a public place that has been chosen beforehand, including an outdoor space, and at a scheduled time for the purpose of a form of action or inaction that has been planned beforehand and is a form of public expression of the public or political sentiments or protest."

Anyone proven to be taking part in such a gathering would be subject to up to 15 days of administrative arrest, the draft says.