25.03.2007 / 16:23

Freedom Day – Live! 1

Live reprt from the protest demonstration in Minsk

11.15

October square is sealed off by the police. There are several police cars and buses. The square is also patrolled by the policemen in plain clothes. All nearby yards are filled with police wagons.

Cellular phones barely function on the October Square. It is forbidden to park private cars in the nearby area. People are prevented from entering the shops in this part of the Avenue.

After being prevented from gathering on the October square, people began to move in columns along the city streets.

One column (about 5 000 people) is moving in the direction of the Peramozhcau Avenue, another one (from 8 000 to about 15 000 people by some accounts) is moving towards the Academy of Sciences.

It seems that the final goal of people is to gather on the square in front of the Academy of Sciences, a couple of kilometers further down the Avenue of Independence (former Skaryna Avenue). The police prevent people from walking as a single column.

12.39

Milinkevich was beaten up, the hand of his wife, Ina Kulej, is injured.

13.16

The column

scuffles with the police near "Moscow" movie theatre. Aliaksandr Milinkevich is there.

13.20

The police severely beats up the people near the "Moscow".

13.25

Heavy police wagons are passing by the column moving to the Academy of Sciences. People meet them with angry chanting. The column has stretched along the Independence Avenue.

13.30

The protesters have filled the Frunzenskaja metro station, breaking the police cordons.

13.37

The police has dissolved the people near the "Moscow" movie theatre and is chasing them in the nearby yards. A big part of this column is moving up the hill, along the Melnikajte street.

13.39

The people are slowly gathering on the square near the Academy of Sciences. Slowly, because the number of people is great, and the column is stretched.

13.18

Having no white-red-white flad, one person put on a red pullover and a white sheet on his back. Now he is standing on the balcony near the "BelVAR" plant.

13.47

People from the column, which scuffled with polie near the "Moscow" movie theathre, are moving to the Academy of Sciences. With many obstacles - this is a long way, and several metro stations including the "October" metro station, a big transportation hub in Minsk, are shut down.

13.58

The column of demonstrants is still moving across the right side of the Independence Avenue. The head of the column has almost reached the Academy of Sciences, the tail of it has not even crossed the Yakub Kolas square.

14.06

A column of young people is heading through Gorky Park, holding on to the long white-red-white ribbon, about 200 meters long.

14.10

The column, guided b Aliaksandr Milinkevich, has reached the Acadamy of Sciences.

14.14

There are already about 20 000 people in front of the Academy of Sciences. People are chanting "Milinkevich! Milinkevich!". The leader of the opposition prepares to hold a speech.

14.25

The rally has began. Viantsuk Viachorka, leader of the Party of the Belarusian Popular Front is speaking. The music is playing. People greeted the members of the Young Front with applause.

14.29

Vice-chairman of the European Parliament Yanush Anyshkevich is speaking.

14.32

The instigators with white-red-white flags appeared. They are drunk. The same people were seen during the last year's Freedom Day.

15.21

The meeting is over. The column, guided by Aliaksandr Milinkevich, went the other way, towards Yakub Kolas square. Some zoung people went the other way, to the National Library, where the state-sponsored entertainment events take place.

15.30

The column, heading to the National Library, crossed Surganava Street and keeps on walking.

The column guided by Milinkevich was stopped by riot police near the department store on Yakub Kolas square. The police order to hide the flags, and takes away opposition symbols by force. The first arrests begin.

15.35

The column with Milinkevich has reached Yakub Kolas square. There he sat into a minivan with his wife. They are going to leave. Not too many people here.

Another column has reached the Tscheluskintsy Park. The policemen follow them. Police wagons are heading towards the National Library.

16.10

The column heading towards the National Library has reached the Children's Railroad. There are about 300 people. They don't have any flags or banners, just blue balloons in their hands.

16.20

The column has reached "Belarusfilm" movie studios. The police corrects its movements, appealing to walk without breaking traffic rules.

People are singing the songs of the rock-band NRM.

16.36

The people have reached the National library, but the concert was over 10 minutes before they arrived.

16.38

Paval Batujeu, activist of the Party of Belarusian People's Front was arrested on the metro station "Institute of Culture".

The column of demonstrants has reached the scene near the National Library, where the state-sponsored concert took place. They have rolled out white-red-white flags.

The police asks them to dissolve themselves.

16.42

Police cars are driving aroung the National Library. Arrests have began. A young man and a girl are arresten. The guy was beaten up.

16.47

Riot police force people from the square in front of the National Library. It is now practically empty.

Street cleaning machines arrives, which spray water over people in order to get them scared.

16.59

10 people are sitting under white-red-wite flags near the entrance to the "Ushod" metro station. They are singing.

Please, see the photo report of events by Anrey Liankevich here:

http://www.nn.by/index.php?c=ar&i=7473

17.35

Summary

About 15 000 people took part in protest during the Freedom Day'2007. The demonstrants were not allowed on October square. The center of the city was completely blocked by the police.

Paval Batujeu, the arrested activist of the Party of Belarusian People's Front, was brought to the bus station by policemen (by force), and sent to his native city of Salihorsk with a shuttle taxi.

On the whole, there are about 80 people now, arrested in connection with the protests.

A number of independent websites, including the Livejournal weblog system, was inaccessible for the internet-surfers within Belarus.

: : :

Dear readers, we thank you for your attention to our English-language blog. In the future "Nasha Niva" will continue to cover the major events in English - live! We apologize again for the technical problems, which were undoubtedly caused by the non-technical reasons. Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely your,

"Nasha Niva" team

NearBY

0
NearBY / Адказаць
25.03.2007 / 16:29
We apologize for a tremendous delay in the English-language coverage of the events, which was caused by severe technical problems with our web-site.
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