Longest-ever protest in Belarus: 14 months of Brest ‘feeding pigeons’

19 May 2019 . Feeding pigeons in Brest, phot. Belsat

About 100 persons showed up at Sunday’s rally in the centre of Brest.

For more than a year, Brest residents have been protesting against the construction of the iPower battery plant in the Brest free economic zone. According to them, the facility may adversely affect the environment in the region.

Although about 40,000 persons signed the petition against the construction, the city authorities remain dismissive of the petition and the project has been completed. Every Sunday people hold peaceful protest rallies; in turn, the local police detain the participants as the city authorities outlawed the protests. Until recently, people did not make speeches or chant any slogans – they just feeded pigeons or carry baloons.

19 May 2019. Marching along Savetskaya street in Brest, phot. Belsat
19 May 2019 . Feeding pigeons in Brest, phot. Belsat

On May 19, the participants gathered in Lenin Square at 12.00; then they were marching along Savetskaya street to Masherov Avenue. The column was followed by a police car; a dozen plainclothes policemen were filming the event.

“The activists who have been organizing the protests since February, 2018 were present. In spite of being persecuted, activist Maisey Mazko’s son Dzyanis, against whom a criminal case was initiated, took part in the rally together with his wife and son,” Belsat TV journalist Katsyaryna Andreyeva reported from the scene.

The policemen warned the protesters against participating in an unauthorized rally and urged them to disperse. However, no one was detained.

19 May 2019. Policeman warning protesters against rallying, phot. Belsat

The battery plant near the city has been built by a Chinese corporation. The project was commissioned by the iPower company. It is planned that the plant will have a full cycle of production of lead-acid batteries.

After the launch of the hazardous battery factory, activists started collecting signatures under a new petition for the ban on the would-be production of batteries.

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