The waves of public protest events that accompanied the early years of the transition from Communism in the former Soviet republic of Belarus offer the opportunity to explore the short-term interaction between state repression and the ongoing choice of protest form by challengers. Using police (militia) records of public protest events between 1990 and 1995, we examine the evolving choice of protest form by collective actors in Belarus. We develop expectations about how the strength of social actors interacts with the extent and form of state repression in shaping protest form. Analyses show that as democratic access expanded and state repression waned during a "democratic opening" weak collective actors came to dominate the protest arena, staging mostly pickets and vigils. As state repression escalated, however, strong collective actors reentered the protest arena, but, in response to the escalating state repression, employed mostly the picket/vigil protest form that, during less repressive times, had been the weapon of the weak collective actors.