In the very end of May the first ecological flashmob took place in Gomel. During the flashmob activists marked young trees that were to be cut down with black ribbons as a sign of mourning and remembrance. The flashmob evoked a great interest from the Gomel people. The report about the event on a local web-site received over 7500 views in the course of only one day.
The authority reacted swiftly and the next day the ribbons were took down.
An activist of “Our House” Mr. Andrei Aksenov explained the purpose of the flashmob:
‘The participants of the flashmob aimed at bringing attention of the citizens and of the local authorities to the issue of the cutting down trees in the centre of Gomel. Recently the city is being turned into a continuous stretch of the street that may be conveniently used only by the transport. The green areas are sacrificed to the parking lots in many areas of the city.’
A historian and ecologist Evgeniy Merkes added:
‘Gomel grows and changes and this is inevitable; we do understand and welcome that. However, it is very important to take into account not only the interests of the car-owners, but also needs of the pedestrians, cyclists, parents with baby prams, disabled people. Widening of the roads cannot be endless. We support the dialogue between the city inhabitants and the authorities.’