In the afternoon of 19 October, pro-government rally participants [who were reportedly bussed in Minsk from across the country] gathered in Independence Square in Minsk, among whom were veterans of the border troops, internal troops, officers in police and the Ministry of Emergencies uniforms. Meanwhile, near the Red Church, the retirees gathered for their traditional March of Pensioners.
Last Monday, riot police sprayed sprayed tear gas against the elderly people in Minsk. Today, even more people gathered. According to various sources, over a thousand seniors took part the March of Wisdom. They marched along Independence Avenue to Yakub Kolas Square where they were met by volunteers with hot tea and snacks.
Those gathered for the pro-government rally remained for some time in Independence Square before moved to Victory Square to lay flowers and headed straight to their buses. There were several tense moments when the participants of the two rallies met. Some of them were chanting “Long Live Belarus”, “Shame!” and “Belarus without Lukashenko!”, others shouted “For Belarus!” and “Fascists!” in response.
Right in between the two groups of people relentless 73-year-old opposition activist Nina Baginskaya was spotted. “We are one people. We are not enemies. I will unite them,” she said.