Another Monday and another joint March of Pensioners and Healthcare Workers took place in Minsk. The demonstrators gathered at the already traditional venue – in the Independence Square near the Red Church – before marching through the city demanding Alexander Lukashenko to step down, hold new and fair election, end violence against civilians and release all political prisoners. This is what it looked like today.
As soon as seniors and healthcare workers gathered near the Red Church, policemen approached them and asked to disperse. They walked in a crowd warning through a loudspeaker that the event is unauthorized. People reacted with “Get out” and “Tribunal” chants.
Then the procession moved along Independence Avenue chanting “Lukashenko into a paddy wagon!”, “This is our city!”, “We believe, we can, we will overcome!”. At the same time, the traffic police stopped and charged drivers who greeted and supported the protesters by honking.
Look at the faces of those who took part in the March of Wisdom in Minsk a day after over 1,000 peaceful protesters were brutally detained and beaten during and after arrest across the country.
At some point when the procession reached the KGB building they were heard wishing ex-presidential candidate Viktor Babariko happy birthday [he turned 57 today] and chanting “Release him!”.
While the demonstrators were walking along the central avenue withwhote-red-white flags [some even had knitted ones], banners and flowers, several minibuses and plainclothesmen with cameras followed them all the way to Yakub Kolas square. See the extent of the rally in the photos below!
The final spot of the March of Wisdom finished was Yakub Kolas. There, they were met by volunteers who brought hot tea and cookies. The seniors left banners and flowers at monument, sang songs, waved their flags for a bit and began to disperse. The passing drivers offered them a ride home.
“Girls, we long to end it faster! Walk in the same company through the streets of the city, breathe freely,” said one of the protesters.
“We will definitely do it together on the first Monday after the victory!”