20 сакавіка 2006

The night of March 20/21

Translating from LJ community minsk_news

LJ user lipskiTo warm up, we're having a running competition, Russia vs Belarus. The mood is good :) Just a little is left until the morning.

LJ user samuel_smith interviews the superintenndant of the tent camp, Ales Mazur.

samuel_smith: Hi, we're calling from Ukraine. We support you and are watching what's going on. Tell us what is happening over there, how the authorities are behaving, how many people are at the square

Ales': there are perhaps slightly over a thousand people. Milinkevich is with us, we have around 20-30 tents put up on the square. The police are not seen, they disappeared around 1am, only traffic police are here. We're in a good mood, the city will lively up in an hour and a half, and everything will be all right.

samuel_smith: Is the square open? Can people come join you?
Ales': No, they are filtering people out. They just stop people and don't let them get through. But I believe, at 7 they will clear the way.

* * *

Photos from Hartia97. I really respect these people. Spending the night out in the cold, not knowing if you'll be arrested or beaten or both, does take some balls. This is not your Grandma Cindy's "pease" protest.

* * *

3:38 AM, Hitroe Radio, via LJ user samuel_smith
The police officers will support Lukashenka all the way to the end. The possibility that ordinary officers will switch sides is out of the question. We were talking to them for 2 hours without raising our voices, and there is no chance that they will switch sides. If they had an order, they would kill. On the 19th they were put on high alert five times, they were angry and ready to attack, but the alerts were cancelled. Today they are even more ready, but...There are very few people left on the square, 1,000 at most. People say Kozulin has already left, and I don't know about Milinkevich.

2:11 AM, Radio Svaboda via LJ user barilotti:
The police have detain Anatol Liabedzka and Aliaxander Dabravolsky [well-known oppositioners - IL]. Together with Valiancina Pelevikava and Ludmila Hraznova, at 1 am they went to get tea, in the direction of GUM.
Valiancina Palevikava said that on their way back, Liabedzka and Dabravolski were taken by the police. They were thrown into a bus and taken to the police station. Palevikava and Hraznova were not arrested, but the police didn't let them get back to the square.

The square is blocked. New people can't get here, because the police have blocked the nearby streets.

LJ user lipkski:
Mar. 21st, 1:54 AM
Now at the square Kozulin (the other opposition candidate) appeared. It's said that he was able to persuade the police to free the people who were detained for trying to bring food to the demonstrators.

Mar. 21st, 2006 @ 01:54 am
There are around 1,00o people at the square. They are concentrated in two groups. One is at the steps of Profsoyuz Palace, watching the PA equipment. The other groupo is standing around the tents. There are around 25 flags over the crowd. The public transportation has already stopped [in Minsk and most post-Soviet cities 1 am is the standard time for this - IL]. I predict that the same number of people will stay overnight. I keep being told that those who leave the square one by one get arrested.

Minsk, March 21, 1:18 AM
They are starting to surround us. At the square, around a thousand people are remaining. The police are saying that they recieved an order to clear the square from the protestors

12:03 AM
There are areond 2,000 people at the square. Heard through the PA, Radio Svaboda started their translation.


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