Freedom Day marks beginning of protest spring in Belarus

Belarusians started celebrating the Freedom Day with fireworks at 23:34 already on 24 March. In the old administrative code 23.34 is the number of the article for participation in mass actions, for which the majority of the detained at the protest against falsified elections and violence of the power structures were tried.

Pavel Latushka and Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya also called for the beginning of the protest spring with the celebration of Freedom Day.

The authorities responded to the calls with increased pressure and warnings of possible terrorist attacks. And the next day they also responded with using non-lethals and gear. Already in the morning, a convoy of over fifty special vehicles moved in the direction of Minsk from Brest. Columns of cars and vans, water cannons and cars with barbed wire were pulled into the center of the city. During the day the center of the capital was tightly occupied by the law enforcement agencies.

Activists were preventively detained all over the country: in Salihorsk and Mahiliou, Rechytsa and Brest, Miory and Dokshytsy, Horki and Masty.

In social networks, Belarusians from different places urged others to go to the city centers. Spot arrests continued on the streets.

Traffic in he center of Minsk was blocked several times during the day. In the evening, the center of Minsk was stuck in traffic jams. Meanwhile, motorists were actively honking their horns in different areas of the capital in protest.

Iryna Darafeichuk, Belsat