Protest spring: Belarus opposition leaders set to hold May Day, Chernobyl Path rallies

An appeal to hold a rally on May, 1 was filed to Minsk city executive committee on Thursday. According to the organizer, the Congress of Democratic Trade Unions, the upcoming May Day is expected to begin at 16.00 at the Academy of Sciences. Then the participants will march to the park of Friendship of Peoples near Bangalore Square.

The idea of holding the rally was supported by most opposition movements and parties

“There are many unemployed and low-paid workers in Belarus; that is why things are going from bad to worse for our people. Of course, we cannot but back the idea,” says Dzyanis Sadouski, a representative the Belarusian Christian Democracy party.

Will Chernobyl Path be banned?

Although the organizers of the Chernobyl Path, a march in memory of the 1986 nuclear disaster victims, has not yet received the city authorities’ reply to their appeal, they have finalized the plan for April, 26: gathering and holding a rally at 18.00 near the building of the Opera House in Minsk, then marching along Bahdanovich street to Chernobyl Chapel near Bangalore Square, where participants will lay flowers and light candles in memory of the aggrieved in the tragedy.

“We will create special groups which will react against any provocative actions. At the same time we are counting on our European partners who continue the dialogue with Lukashenka. We want them to bring him to reason. We hope security forces do not brutally disperse the protest,” says politician and ex-political prisoner Pavel Sevyarynets.

Chernobyl Path in regions

This year, the main slogans are ‘No To Astravets NPP Construction’ and ‘No To Political Chernobyl’.

Local activists applied for permission to hold rallies and pickets dedicated to the anniversary of the Chernobyl tragedy and May Day in Baranavichy, Brest, Homiel and Hrodna.

On March 25, the Belarus riot police brutally dispersed a ‘non-parasite’ rally in Minsk. The protesters took to the streets to convey their deep outrage over the so-called tax on ‘spongers’ introduced by president Alyaksandr Lukashenka in 2015.

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