Belarusian market vendors are holding another protest action in Minsk.
Beginning 2016, Belarusian self-employed businessmen selling clothes and shoes have to start working in accordance with the new rules that came into force on January, 1. Lukashenka’s Decree 222 of March 16, 2014 canceled the previous benefits in the required package of accompanying documents for the goods and ordered to get for them not only consignment documents, but also a certificate for compliance with the Eurasian Economic Community.
Representatives of entrepreneurs’ movement argued that the Russian market, where they bring cheap Turkish or Chinese clothing from, such documents are difficult to obtain. As a result, the businessman are fined and their goods are seized.
13:40 The rally is over. The market vendors are committed to hold another protest action on February 28 at 15.00.
13:28 The weather is very bad, it is very wind. Some of participants are leaving.
13:23 The protesters are tring to get warm.
13:20 People are leaving their written messages for the government:
13:17 Businessman Ales Makayeu has taken the floor; he calls the participants to gather next Friday.
13:13 “Market vendors who сontinue selling [clothes and shoes] have certificates only for 10 units, all the rest is uncertified. For example, a seller failed to show any certificate for the jeans I am wearing now,” a 33-year-old market vendor from Homiel states.
13:10 The city authorities have made an attempt to prevent people from holding a rally: there are too many snow cutters in October square.
12:55 People are chanting: “Step down!”
“I have been selling children’s clothes for nearly 14 years. Over the pest 1.5 months I have been trying to sell clothes ‘made in Belarus’ – in vain! Our country does not have as rich assortment of goods as Russia has,” a Barysau market vendor says.
12:52 “You are not slaves! You are fighting for yourselvess and all Belarusians,” former political prisoner Mikalai Statkevich says.
12:50 “”I suggest we should demand the resignation of our Prime Minister and show no confidence in Alyaksandr Lukashenka,” politiciam Pavel Sevyarynets said. The proposal is being cheered.
12:49 People are chanting: “Long live Belarus!”
12:45 Mikalai Statkevich: “If as many people were holding a rally near the Presidential Administration, there will be сoncessions. But the people are afraid to go there. Several hundreds near the Administration would scare the government more than several thousands here.”
12:40 The police are hunting for the participants and trying to ID them.
12:35 The police officers are leaving.
12:34 The protesters are throwing a security cordon around Mr Lyabedzka to prevent the police from taking away his loudhailer.
12:30 One of them got to Mr Lyabedzka and is drawing up a report. The protesters are chanting: “Freedom!”
12:26 The participants are making a roll call. People are arriving; a number of policemen is also growing.
12:25 The people have not let a policeman draw up a protocol on Anatol Lyabedzka.
Opposition leader Anatol Lyabedzka: “We have put our requirements in black and white so that the government could get wise to people’s problems.”
New participants are coming, market vendors from Mahiliou, Polatsk, Svetlahorsk, Krupki are among them. A white-red-white flag is waving.
12:05 Market vendors are also organizing a protest action in the Belarusian city of Hrodna.
— Paval Mazheika (@PMazheika) 22 февраля 2016
12:00 Opposition leaders Mikalai Statkevich, Uladzimir Nyaklyayeu, Pavel Sevyarynets have come to the building of the Presidential Administration.
11:56 The action is some minutes off. There are no people in October Square