Blue revolution in Belarus

03/04/2006
Submitted by Svyatoslav Sementsov, TEMA LGBT Group Co-president

More than 10,000 Belarusian citizens have taken to the streets on March 25 in Minsk to celebrate Freedom Day. Thousands of policemen and riot policemen were hurled against peaceful protesters, all array of special means was used: smoke-grenades, noise-making explosives and teargas. Peacefully protesting people were beaten up until they were bleeding and unconscious, many people were carried away in stretchers by doctors. One person is reportedly killed. Hundreds of people are arrested again. Special detention centers are filled to capacity with political prisoners already, and new prisoners of conscience arrive. The dictatorship has proved again that it rests only on force. Flowers and peaceful slogans were opposed by weapons.

Every day after day of election, before 25 March, Byelorussian government mass-media called this event ”Blue revolution”, they use very homophobic reaction of people against revolutionists. They sad that only drug users and people with sexual inversion take part in it, that they want to get our children. TV show that this ”Blue revolution” supported of EU and if they will win, they’ll give the same rights to LGBT people, same sex partnership and adoption of children. They want to have much homophobic reaction, and they got it. Much people didn’t take part in it, just because they are homophobic. On the streets of Minsk was also much gay and lesbians, much of my personal friends, and they was arrested too. LGBT people just wanted to fight for there future, for there rights.

The celebration of Freedom Day was to start at 12 noon on October Square in Minsk. But the square was cordoned off by police and riot police, and fenced by special railing. However, thousands of people managed to gather in the streets by October Square. Thousands of law-enforcers were sent to the streets: riot policemen, policemen and internal troops. Skaryna Avenue was closed to traffic completely. Part of the people was encircled near Central McDonald’s restaurant. People were jammed and choked, they were impeded by beating. Riot policemen attempted to provoke a stampede resembling tragedy in Nyamiha metro station in Minsk in 1999 with 53 causalities.

All subway crossings around October Square were blocked by police. People were standing on the both sides of the avenue and could not merge. Despite of that, people were chanting: “Long live Belarus!”, “We want Freedom!”, “Milinkevich!” National flags, flags of the EU, youth resistance movement Zubr and flags with the icon of Our Lady of Minsk were waving.

Force was applied against peaceful demonstrators: they were harshly pushed away from the avenue and clubbed. An American journalist was cruelly beaten up. A riot policemen delivered several blows with the truncheon on his head. The name of the reporter and his fate are to be cleared up. During the disband sirens were producing huge amount of noise for psychological pressure.

After several futile attempts to come to Skaryna Avenue, columns of people moved along Nyamiha Avenue and Bahdanovich Avenue to Yanka Kupala Park, where the single candidate Alyaksandr Milinkevich arrived. Columns of people from different parts of the city under national flags marched and chanted in unison: “Freedom!”

About 10,000 protesters gathered in the park of Yanka Kupala. The leader of the Belarusian opposition Alyaksandr Milinkevich took the floor. He demanded the authorities to hold free presidential elections. We need truth, the authorities fear the truth, the politician said. Alyaksandr Milinkevich has announced that the Belarusian National Liberation Movement is created. As he said, the elections have showed that there are more supporters of democratic changes than members of the united democratic forces coalition. “We would like to invite them to join the movement,” the politician said.

Well-known politicians, writers, public figures addressed the meeting in Yanka Kupala Park. The candidate for presidency, former BSU rector Alyaksandr Kazulin, called upon the protesters to go to the special detention center in Akrestsin Street after the meeting, to “demand release of the new heroes of Belarus”. A. Kazulin also urged everybody to forget all our particular wrongs. “Only together, shoulder to shoulder, we shall win, - he said. - We should not leave anybody outside our new movement”.

He confirmed the information on the detention of well-known journalist Pavel Sheremet. “Independent journalists terrify the powers. Today we know the principal criminal - people with epaulets. They deem they can keep the power with bayonets. You can use your weapon against yourselves… The Belarusian nation has no fear anymore,” - A.Kazulin said. He added the oppositional candidates for the President’s post had applied to the UN Security Council concerning the situation in Belarus.

The rally participants scanned “Long Live Belarus!”, “Freedom!”, “Milinkevich!”. Expressing their solidarity with the defenders of the tent camp of the Kastrychnitskaya Square, the demonstrators scanned “Glory For Heroes!”. Polish Seim deputy Małgorzata Goszewska said all the students expelled because of the peaceful protest manifestation could continue their education in Poland.

After the meeting, the 10-thousand column of demonstrators headed for the special distribution center in Akrestsina Street, scanning “Glory For Heroes!” and “Freedom For Political Prisoners!”. The peaceful demonstration was halted by cordons of the OMON, anti-terrorist commandos and interior troops who blocked the traffic near the Maskouski district administration. The Special Forces officers attacked the peaceful demonstrators, who were walking with flowers and balloons, with brutal ferocity. Special Forces commander Zmitser Paulichenka, suspected by the world community of murders and kidnapping of oppositional leaders, was the one to give orders to kill the people.
All possible means were used against the demonstrators - gas pots, noise shells, tear-gas. The grenades were exploding right above the people’s heads. Bleeding demonstrators were carried away in stretchers. The majority had their heads crushed. Special Forces officers finished what the grenades hadn’t done. They assaulted the people, dragged them by hair and swiped with clubs the people’s heads, backs, legs. The girls were beaten with fists into faces.

The beaten and bleeding people were then loaded to vehicles and driven in unknown direction. According to the recent data, the people are being transported to Uruchcha district, where the Special Forces base is located.

We shall remind that KGB head Sukharenka mentioned some provocation and explosions prepared for the time of mass actions. Today his words have become clear. The provocations and explosions were organized by the national security themselves. The police could not cope with the peaceful demonstration. The people proved to be stronger.

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