On Saturday, 17 October, women have gathered to march through Minsk in protest against the situation in Belarus. Meanwhile, students have gathered for their Rally of Youth. First detentions, including of journalists, have been reported.
Despite police brutality, women and students took to the streets again. A traditional female rally has started from the Dana Mall shopping center. About one hundred participants have marched towards the city center with flowers in their hands. Passing cars have been honking in support.
At the same time, paddy wagons have driven from the National Library towards the center. Demonstrators have been chanting: “Long live Belarus!”, “Freedom for political prisoners!”. The procession has been closed by two security officers in civilian clothes and masks.
Meanwhile, students have gathered at the Minsk State Linguistic University. At some point about 150 participants of the rally have moved to Kozlova Street and to the city centre. Several youngsters, as well as journalists covering the rally, have been detaines during the rally and at the university.
Participants of the women’s rally have reached the Chelyuskintsev park and moved further. The demonstrators have been greeted by residents of the nearby houses, who have gone onto the balconies with white-red-white flags. More and more are joining the female rally. They are chanting “Lukashenko to a police van!”, “We believe, we can, we will win!”, “Take Sasha, release Masha!”.
The women have reached the Yakub Kolos square and have gone home. At least 16 people, including journalists, were detained at the student rally. The list is being updated by the deregistered human rights Vesna center. The women’s march ended without detentions.