Protests In Belarus, Day 31: Riot Police Attack Women, Dozens Detained

On 8 September, despite numerous detentions last Sunday, mostly women took to the streets of Minsk to peacefully express solidarity and support Maria Kolesnikova and other members of the Coordination Council. Dozens have been brutally detained.

The women who gathered at the Komarovka market were chanting “Let her out! Let her out!” and Maria Kolesnikova’s name. Passing cars honked in support. At some point, after police warned the protesters that the rally was illegal, plainclothesmen with balaclavas over their faces started to detain people sparking clashes.

The remaining protesters wrapped their hands, ten masked men tried to break a human chain. Women shouted at them “You beasts!” and then retreated to the steps of the covered market chanting “Shame!”. Several people were detained and taken into minisbuses without licence plates.

Watch the videos from the Komarovka market:

Very Khoruzhey Street at Komarovsky Market was cordoned off and people moved towards Independence Avenue, after which they turned to Kuibyshev Street. There were about 300 people marching in the column, passing cars kept honking and slowed down traffic.

The people who were walking from Komarovka market turned to Masherova Street. Two unmarked minibuses and a paddy wagon drove up there. The protesters were chanting “Shame!”, detentions started and the women began to scream loudly and wrapped their hands to resist.

Watch the videos from Masherova Street:

Traffic police blocked traffic along Masherova Street from Belaya Vezha Casino towards Independence Avenue. Detenions continued there too, the women were crying and shouting, as others were trying to break the line of people in green unifrom.

According to TUT.BY correspondent, at least ten people were detained on Masherova Street. Below is another video of detentions from the scene.

At the same time, several other protest actions took place in the city. To express their support to lifeguards who were put in a detention centre after saving peaceful protesters who jumped into the Svisloch river fleeing from security forces on Sunday, 6 September.

In gratitude to the rescuers, the women launched paper boats and wreaths of fresh flowers on the Komsomolskoye lake.

Another group of women gathered near the National Museum of Art, they put on red lipstick as a sign of solidarity with missing Maria Kolesnikova. They later marched along Independence Avenue, chanting “Maria is our conscience”and “One for all, all for one” from time to time.

Traditionally, people gathered in Independence Square in front of the Red Church. Some brought candles and flowers to pay their respects to those who allegedely died in post-election protests or after them.

They also sang a Belarusian lullaby before calling it a night.

Galileo shopping centre was another place where people sang and even danced a little bit today. Listen to a Belarusian folk song Pogonia:

Also, several dozen people carrying icons, Russian and Belarusian flags marched from Victory Square to Independence Square. A car with a speaker on the roof accompanied the religious procession. When in Independence Square, they sang the national anthem and went home.

Source: TUT.BY