Unity March: Belarusians taking to streets again

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It is the fifth Sunday in a row that people have taken to the streets of cities and towns throughout Belarus.

For nearly four weeks, protests have been underway; the major demands of Belarusians are Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s resignation; holding a free and fair election; releasing political prisoners; putting an end to police violence; state-run TV stations’ providing people with unbiased and reliable information.

Minsk has been facing the most large-scale protests in its history. Lots of its residents are leaving their homes in bedroom communities and marching to the centre of the city. Previously, columns of protesters managed to reach popular protest spots Independence Square and Minsk Hero City Stele in spite of the siloviki’s blocking streets.

Today’s Unity March kicked off at 2 pm (local time). Barbed wire and fences have been delivered to Stele; water cannons were spotted near the main railway station; and armoured personnel carriers are reported to have left Uruchcha residential area.

A1 operator officially confirms that the mobile Internet capacity has been reduced by order of the city authorities.

Participants in Unity March. Minsk, Nyamiha street, 6 September 2020. Photo: belsat.eu
Participants in Unity March. Minsk, Nyamiha street, 6 September 2020. Photo: belsat.eu
Participants in Unity March. Minsk, Nyamiha street, 6 September 2020. Photo: belsat.eu
Unity March participants moving in direction of Minsk Hero City Stele. 6 September 2020. Photo: belsat.eu
Unity March participants moving in direction of Minsk Hero City Stele. 6 September 2020. Photo: belsat.eu

By about 3 pm, 70 persons have Been detained in the Belarusian capital, human rights centre Viasna reports. Siloviki are reported to have brutally arrested protesters in other regional centres (Brest, Vitsebsk, Hrodna) as well.

‘Sasha, sorry, you are not our love strory!’ Unity March in Brest. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
‘We will wake up and be different persons’. Unity March in Brest. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
‘Pokemons against Sasha’/ Unity March in Brest. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
Unity March in Brest. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
Unity March in Vitsebsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
Unity March in Vitsebsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
Unity March in Vitsebsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
‘Stop sucking our blood!’ Unity March in Mahiliou. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
‘Freedom to political prisoners!’Unity March in Mahiliou. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
Unity March in Mahiliou. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu
Unity March in Mahiliou. 6 September 2020. Photo: Belsat.eu

In Hrodna, the police used tear gas when starting to disperse Unity March:

In spite of heavy raining, the march keeps going in Minsk. By various estimates, 150,000 – 200,000 people have showed up at today’s march in the capital.

Police blocked the intersection of Independence Avenue and Lenin Street. Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
Police blocked the intersection of Independence Avenue and Lenin Street. Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
‘Belarus, its language, its girls are wonderful’, ‘The most irritative creatures’. Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu

 

‘Sorry Mum, but my first words will be Step Down!’ Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
‘Sasha is nobody, intelo reports.’ Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
Police blocked the intersection of Independence Avenue and Lenin Street. Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
‘Don’t make noise, I’m tapping warsaw’s talk.’ Police blocked the intersection of Independence Avenue and Lenin Street. Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
‘Stop serving drinks, he has helicopters!’ Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
‘My grandparents were partisans; I will not surrender!’ Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
Police blocked the intersection of Independence Avenue and Lenin Street. Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu
Special vehicles in centre. Unity March in Minsk. 6 September 2020. Photo: Pavel Dabravolski / vot-tak.tv / belsat.eu

The column of protesters reached the Palace of Independence, one of Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s residences. There was a police cordon; when one man made a controversial inscription, they used tear gas on him. The participants chanted: ‘Lukashenka, step down!’, ‘Shame!’, ‘Fascists!’

When the march was coming to an end, mass detentions started in downtown Minsk (Nyamiha street, Victors’ Avenue, Independence Avenue, Freedom Square). Notably, groups of masked plainclothes men who were armed with clubs grabbed and attacked protesters and passers-by.

When some protesters were trying to find shelter in one of the cafes in Victors’ Avenue, not far from Nyamiha Street, the unknown attackers destroyed its glass door. Videos show someone hitting the glass door, and then taking people out of the cafe. reportedly, the group was led by Mikalai Karpyankou, head of the Main Directorate for Combating Organised Crime and Corruption.

Minsk: Plainclothes police break glass door to get protesters out of cafe

As of 9 pm, there have been nearly 200 names on the list of Minsk detainees made by human rights centre Viasna; it being constanly updated. About 50 persons, including journalists, have been detained in other Belarusian cities and towns.

Belsat.eu

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