Belarusians will get back to holding mass protest marches in a few weeks, when the weather becomes more favourable, opposition leader Svyatlana Tsikhanouskaya‘s aide Franak Vyachorka believes.
“It [resuming protests] might happen in late February or early March, when the wave of national marches is back again. And then Lukashenka will have a really bad time <…> It has been a long time since we discussed the resumption of marches with Pavel Latushka and all other political leaders. As soon as there is a proper occasion, e.g. March, 25 [unofficial Freedom Day], a march will take place. Its slogan will be ‘We are going back to the streets! The city is ours!’ Such marches will be staged both in Minsk and other big cities,” he said in Sunday’s interview with Belsat TV.
According to him, the preparation for would-be protests is part of the democratic forces’ joint plan which will be announced later.
On December 20, Franak Vyachorka told Belsat that Tsikhanouskaya’s team would not call on Belarusians to take part in street protests in city centres; at the same time, they were going to support ‘any action taken by people themselves’.
On January 10, protest marches took place in the decentralised format. For the past four days, 40 people were detained in Minsk for ‘participation in unauthorised rallies’, human rights centre Viasna reports with reference to the Belarusian Interior Ministry.