On 19-21 June, solidarity actions in support of Belarusians detained during peaceful protests took place in many cities around the world. Most protesters gathered at the Belarusian embassies to express their disconcern, support and solidarity.
19 and 20 June: Kyiv, Berlin, Vilnius, Hamburg
One of the first actions was held in Kyiv (Ukraine), on Friday evening. According to journalists, about two dozen people took part in the action.
On Saturday, the protesters gathered in Hamburg (Germany), carrying white-red-white flags, “Stop the Cockroach!” posters, and slippers (as supporters of Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, another potential presidential candidate, usually do) in their hands.
There were also actions in Berlin, (Germany), Vilnius (Lithuania) and in the Hague (the Netherlands). The video shows a boy holding a poster in support of Viktor Babariko and one of the participants explaining to a passerby that this is “solidarity action with people in Belarus”.
One of the participants wrote on her Instagram: “I understand that this, of course, is incomparable with what is happening in Belarus – here we can get together in relatively calm circumstances. Nevertheless, I am glad that at least to some extent one can express support for Belarusians, my friends and acquaintances, people who have suffered for the expression of their civil rights – the right to choose, the right to change power, the right to freedom.”
21 June: Warsaw, Moscow, Mannheim
The most mass “Chain of solidarity” action took place in Warsaw (Poland). According to TUT.BY readers, about a thousand people gathered at the Belarusian embassy. As a result, the human chain turned into a spontaneous assembly.
The organizers of the action wrote: “On 18 June, Belarusian presidential candidate Viktor Babariko was detained. Earlier, people’s blogger Sergey Tikhanovsky, opposition leaders Nikolai Statkevich, Pavel Sevyarynets, Maxim Vinyarsky, Olga Nikolaychik and others were arrested. On 21 June, at 12.00, the dissenting Belarusians of Warsaw will come to a peaceful picket of solidarity with political prisoners. ”
The video draws attention to the fact that the police were brought to the rally to “protect [the participants], and not drag them.” After the rally began, the participants clapped their hands and shouted: “Long live Belarus!”. Drivers passing by supported the action by honking.
Belarusians also gathered in German Mannheim. The group is small, but they noted that it is very important for them to speak out in support of the actions. Also on 21 June, a small group of Belarusians gathered in Moscow (Russia). “Today we were at the embassy building. We are very few so far, but we want to show our solidarity, ” Tatyana, one of the participants wrote.
21 June: USA, Canada and others
On the afternoon of 21 June, Belarusians gathered at the UN headquarters in New York (USA). More than two hundred people came to the action gathered in front of a 39-story skyscraper in Manhattan.
People chanted “Release!”, “We believe, we can, we win” and “Long Live Belarus. “Stop police terror”, “We demand fair and transparent elections”, “Freedom to Viktor Babariko, Sergey Tikhanovsky”, “Lukashenko, go away” posters said.
“This election campaign can already be called the most brutal of all ever held in the country. (…) We want the world to see what is happening in Belarus,” the organizers noted.
On the eve of the rally organizers said that they “cannot remain indifferent to what is happening in Belarus now.” Namely, the detentions of participants in the presidential race and ordinary people who just want to express their opinions openly” about the situation in the country.
“I have goosebumps on how many people took to the streets, how they express their opinion. We are following the news. It is important that people back home know that they are not alone in their battle. People around the world support them. Although we are a thousand kilometers from them, our soul is always with them,” Dmitry says.
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His friend Evgeniy adds: “What is happening at home is unacceptable. It is very painful to watch how people are detained for no reason, unreasonably packed in mobile detention vehichles. We want freedom for all political prisoners, freedom for Babariko and Tikhanovsky. If not in this election, when then?”
The action in New York lasted for more than an hour. No one was detained. Similar actions were held on the same day in San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, Los Angeles and in Vancouver (Canada).