Despite 345 Arrested On March In Sunday, Thousands Of Retirees Protest in Belorussia
The Belorussian retirees went on the streets of Minsk on Monday morning after the regime police crackdown and mass arrests on Sunday.
If it is Monday, it is a protest day for the aged Belorussians. This morning thousands of the old women and men took on the streets shouting "Down with Fascists" while walking peacefully. The police tried to block the column of the marchers but the old people have pursued their path through the center of the capital.
For the first time, a group of few dozens of retirees went on march in Grodno, the other major city of the country.
On Sunday, thousands of people demonstrated against President Alexander Lukashenko for the 15th Sunday in a row. In the capital Minsk, people gathered in their
residential areas and then formed protest marches through the city.
The demonstrations in Belorussia against the dictator and pro-freedom
have been taking place for 16 weeks.
The police began making arrests at the beginning of the unauthorized gatherings. The Wesna Human Rights Center published the names of about 345 people arrested by the Sunday evening. There were around 1,000 arrests on each of the last two Sundays.
This time the action was officially announced as a "March against Fascism". The organizers reacted to the latest insults from Lukashenko that they were fascists.
The opposition politician Svetlana Tichanovskaya, who lives in exile in Lithuania, turned to the protest movement on the Telegram online service on Saturday evening and described the demonstration on Sunday as a further step on the way to a "free and just Belarus". You cannot turn a country into a prison if no one is afraid of the prison guards, wrote Tichanovskaya.
Hundreds of the army servicemen and the Ministry of the Interior's soldiers were on duty in Minsk. Prisoner transporters and water cannons were ready, the large squares of the capital were cordoned off with metal bars as the independent footage has shown.
"The tyrant cannot turn a country into a prison
if no one is afraid of the prison guards"
The authorities lowered the speed of the mobile Internet and blocked ten metro stations to prevent mass gatherings.
Most recently, the death of the artist and activist Roman Bondarenko after his arrest caused a shock. 5,000 people attended Bondarenko's funeral in Minsk on Friday.
In other cities in Belarus, too, people again called for Lukashenko's resignation. The protests of the democracy movement have lasted for more than three months.