Neighbours’ March: New-style protest rallies in Belarusian capital and regions

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On November 29, the March of Neighbours kicked off at 12.00 (local time) in Belarus.

For the second Sunday in a row, the protest rally is held in a decentralised format: its participants start to gather in their neighborhoods and then move to the places previously defined in local chats or decide on the spot where to march.

On November 17, Alyaksandr Lukashenka instructed security agencies to ‘restore order’ in the capital and stamp out the protests. The people responded with changing Sunday marches’ format: a week ago, pro-government forces had more difficulty dispersing protesters who scattered all over the capital city.

Prison trucks in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: belsat.eu

In the run-up to the event, a number of metro stations were closed off in Minsk; mobile Internet was down. Security officers and special vehicles were pulled in to central squares of Belarusian cities and towns.

Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu

Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Health workers and/or patients at Hospital #4. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu
Hrushauka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: TK / belsat.eu

Nevertheless, dozens of protest rallies and marches took place in Minsk residential areas, including Kamennaya Horka, Uruchcha, Dambrouka, Malinauka and others.

Pushkinskaya metro station. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pushkinskaya metro station. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pushkinskaya metro station. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Flowers in memory of Alyaksandr Taraykouski, first post-election victim. Pushkinskaya metro station. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
‘When a fair election without Lukashenka is held, the Belarusian people and the whole world will sigh with relief.’ Pushkinskaya metro station. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pushkinskaya metro station. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pushkinskaya metro station. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pushkinskaya metro station. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu

Pro-government forces repeatedly dispersed the participants, but the latter formed columns again, often on nearby streets.

Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Pro-govt forces at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Armed policeman at March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu

During the dispersals, some persons were severely beaten; there were cases of security officers’ using tear gas and flashbang grenades against protesters, sounds of shooting were heard in Zyalyony Bor and Uruchcha. Notably, troops were sometimes losing ground to demonstrators who managed to fight off several detainees.

Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu
Kamennaya Horka residential area. March of Neighbours in Minsk. 29 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / belsat.eu

Protest marches were also held in Brest, Hrodna, Zaslauye, Babruysk, Mahiliou, Vitsebsk, Zhodzina, Smalyavichy, Dzyarzhynsk, Baraulyany, Radashkovichy, Lyakhavichy, and other settlements.

Two sides of Minsk. March of Neighbours, 29 November 2020. Photo: belsat.eu

By 8.30 pm, there have been nearly 320 names on human rights defenders’ lists of detainees, HRC Viasna reports.

For over three months, post-election protests have been underway in the country; the major demands of Belarusians are Lukashenka’s resignation; holding a free and fair election; releasing political prisoners; putting an end to police violence as well as bringing to justice those involved in battering and torturing peaceful demonstrators.

First ”decentralised’ march in Belarus. 22 November 2020. Photo: Agata Kwiatkowska / Belsat.eu

Since August 9, around 20,000 people have been detained across the country. Many of them were beaten, some were raped. There are at least seven death cases that are linked to the post-election protests. At least 520 persons, including Belsat TV journalists Katsyaryna Andreyeva and Darya Chultsova, are parties to criminal proceedings, the number of political prisoners exceeded 140. Several thousand detainees filed complaints against police officers’ illegal actions to the Investigative Committee. However, not a single criminal case has been opened over the citizens’ appeals.

100 days of Belarusian protest

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