Protests in Minsk, Hrodna, Mahiliou LIVE 15.03.2017
On March 15, Belarus celebrates its Constitution Day. Marches of non-parasites are to be held in Minsk, Mahiliou and Hrodna.
According to people who protesting the so-called ‘parasite’ law, Lukashenka’s Decree Nr 3 is unconstitutional. The Constitutional Court, however, says that the tax on ‘social parasites’ corresponds to the Constitution.
In Minsk, protesters started to gather near the Academy of Sciences at 17:30. As reported earlier, water cannons were spotted on the streets of the Belarusian capital. In Hrodna and Mahiliou, rallies are expected to begin at 18:00. Two big surveillance cameras have been recently installed in Hrodna’s Gilibert Park. Belsat is broadcasting the events.
16:30 Minsk police arriving, photos by Syarhei Sys
17:50 Minsk. Belarusian anarchists who covered their faces are present at the event. Threatening with arrests, the police repeatedly demanded they removed their masks. Anarchists are giving an impromptu concert; plainclothes police officers filmed each participant. Anarchists do not rule out they will be detained after the rally because they are ‘the only organization not controlled by the authorities’.
17:54 Hrodna. About 200 persons are participating in the rally.
18:08 Minsk. The protesters are marching to Bangalore Square.
18:13. The car with “Belsat” journalists (including Ales Zaleuski) has been stopped by traffic police on their way to Hrodna. The police are checking documents in the data base, which is allegedly not available.
18:35. Mahiliou rally has about 250 people, Belsat.eu correspondent reports. Meanwhile in Minsk paddy-wagons are moving to the Bangalore Square. In Hrodna protesters are moving toward the City Council.
Participants of the rally in Hrodna are moving towards executive committee building.
18:48. Rally in Hrodna is moving towards the building of the city executive committee. Deputy chair Kulesha came to the protesters, invited them into the building to talk with the chairman of the executive committee, people did not agree. In Minsk, the rally is moving towards Bangalor square, people are chanting “Go away!” and “We believe! We can! We Will Win!”
19:17. Meanwhile, the rally is coming to an end, people are leaving. The rally in Mahiliou also ended. In Minsk, anarchists were detained. See the video of people being detained in Mahiliou.
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20:00. We continue our live feed from Minsk. A woman has told us a man in plain clothes hit her.
Our live feed is over for tonight. Thank you for staying with us!
Decree Nr 3 signed by Alyaksandr Lukashenka in April, 2015 established the obligation of the citizens of Belarus, foreign citizens permanently residing in Belarus, stateless persons, who did not participate in the financing of public spending or participated in such financing less than 183 days (six months – ed.) in the past year, to pay a fee of 20 basic units (appr. $230).
The notorious decree caused a massive public outcry. In February-March, protests were held in a number of Belarusian cities and towns. On March 9, the implementation of the infamous ‘parasite’ law was put on the back burner.
Meanwhile, trials of protesters against the ‘parasite’ law are still in progress in Belarus. In total, about 120 people have been arrested or fined for being involved in the recent protest rallies. The EU has called on Belarusian authorities to immediately release the people detained.