| POLITICS |
Ludmila Gryaznova Arrested
ZUBR coordinator arrested
Police officer Alexander Litvinko arrested near the ZUM store one of the People’s March initiators, Charter’ 97 coordinator for human rights Ludmila Gryaznova.
Reaching Academy of sciences…
Minutes ago police apprehended ZUBR coordinator Timofei Dranchuk. At the moment they are driving him to the Sovietsky district police station. Charter’97 coordinator Dmitry Bondarenko called on the people at the Academy of sciences, to leave home.
Police provokes repetition of Nemiga stampede
The crowd approached the Academy of sciences on Skariny prospect. Now they seem to hold meeting here. The protesters are encircled by numerous law-enforcement cordons.
6thsd strong procession en route to Belarusian Television
Riot police (in uniform and civilian), headed by commander Yuri Podobed, blocked the way to the People’s March protesters. People are forced to step onto the sidewalk, though so many of them can’t walk on it at the same time, which can bring about repetition of Nemiga stampede, when 53 died, including a law-enforcer. The organizers call on police to stop provoking stampede. The protesters sat on the pavement, protesting against police lawlessness.
Protesters reached the device-making plant and tried to step onto the sidewalk, but the law-enforcers wouldn’t let them do that.
Dissenters move along the prospect
Colonel Naidenko just called on police to form a cordon in the Surganova street to prevent the marchers from getting through it. They blocked traffic near “Na Rostanyah” store at Skarina prospect. Police doesn’t let people walk on the sidewalks, making an artificial barrier for them. The crowd had to turn from the original route, though they planned to march all the way to the Independence square first. However, colonel Naidenko started threatening to break the protest down and personally retaliate Dmitry Bondarenko. At the moment the protesters are walking towards the BT headquarters in Makaenka str., occupying half of the prospect.
Protesters bring forth demands
The people moved out to the Bangalor square through the Independence square. This route had been mentioned in their application to the city hall. ZUBRs walk in front of the procession, holding huge banner “For Better Life!”. The number of protesters keeps growing. Among them there are many entrepreneurs, who embarked on the national strike earlier in the day. The traffic is blocked, the cars don’t stir. The crowd occupies one traffic lane.
Police hinders the movement
The protesters are increasing in number – 4thsd. They filled both sides of the prospect, Yakub Kolas square and the adjacent yards. One of the organizers Valentin Golubev addressed the government with a demand to raise salaries, pensions, reduce public utilities tariffs, ensure opposition’s access to radio and TV, halt repressions and not to implement referendum on the prolongation of presidential term of Lukashenko. Otherwise the protesters threaten to embark on more protests.
More people assemble in downtown
The number of protesters rose to 3thsd. High-ranking police official Vorobiev has just torn off the cable from the loudspeaker, but they returned it back to where it belongs. At seeing that Leonid Malakhov and a few ZUBRs encircled the audio equipment and prevent police from approaching it.
People’s March “For Better Life!” will commence at 6p.m. on the Yakub Kolas square
15 minutes before the start of the action, there gathered some 1,5thsd protesters in Yakub Kolas square. They hold banners “Stop plundering people!”, “Lukashenko, feed our kids!”, “Reduce taxes and rent!”, unfurled huge banner “For Better Life!”, ZUBR, BPF, UCP flags. Although the organizers had been given green light to protest yesterday by deputy Interior Minister Scherko, the law-enforcers yell through the megaphones that the action isn’t sanctioned. Organizers Gryaznova and Sannikova were handed in subpoenas to appear in Sovietsky district police as witnesses. Charter’97 coordinator Dmitry Bondarenko called on masses to keep gathering in the square, while the route will be defined later. He also spoke about solidarity actions across Europe and read out Nikolai Markevich’s appeal to the protesters.
Entrepreneurial Strike: 30 Towns, 100,000 Strikers
The national campaign People’s March “For Better Life!”, which started with the national entrepreneurial strike and actions of solidarity abroad, will continue this evening in Minsk streets. The demonstration, whose participants will assemble at 6p.m. in the Yakub Kolas square
, will march in central city under social slogans “Stop plundering people!”, “Reduce apartment rent!”, “Raise salaries, stipends and pensions!”, “Stop exerting pressure on businessmen!”, “He must leave!” and the like.
Charter’97 press-center’s journalists will update you on-line on the situation development in Minsk streets. At the end, we will come up with the full report on the rally and photo highlights.
Stay with us!
People’s March Upheld in Mogilev
Over 100thsd small business representatives engaged in the entrepreneurs’ strike on March 12. The strike was part of the national campaign People’s March “For Better Life!”.
Today the Minsk marketplaces “Tractor”, “Akvabel”, “Chervensky”, as well as trade centers “Zerkalo”, “Palace of sports” and “Parking” halted their business operations. The country’s largest commodity market “Dynamo” is totally empty. Few still sell at “Impulse”, while “Kupalovsky” and “Underground city” are totally closed. Sellers of foodstuffs at “Komarovka” joined the strike, but as far as their stuff can get spoiled soon, many of them began trade.
Warsaw Hosts Solidarity Action With People’s March “For Better Life!”
Today at 3p.m. Mogilev hosted an action in support of the People’s March “For Better Life!”. Local democrats – representatives of the ZUBR resistance movement, Free trade union, United Civil Party and BSDP – arranged a concert of empty saucepans. Around fifty people, rattling with their spoons and other silverware against metal saucepans, gathered in central Mogilev opposite the diagnostic center. However, the law-enforcers blocked their way. As a result of the talks police allowed the protesters to move towards the regional executive committee on the condition that they cease producing so much noise. Otherwise they threatened to disperse the crowd. So the dissenters agreed to be calm and move on.
ZUBR Signs Memorandum with Lithuanian “Movement of Young Liberal Democrats”
At 12 o’clock, Polish time, there was held a protest opposite the Belarusian embassy in Warsaw. Over a dozen of Polish nationals, ZUBR resistance movement’s members and United Civil Party activists unfurled a banner “We uphold People’s March in Belarus!”, “No to phony elections!”, “Belarusians deserve better fate!”, “Lukashenko – Europe’s last dictator”. In response, the Belarusian embassy officials called for police, which, upon their arrival to the place of the incident, recorded the data from the protesters’ IDs.
Nikolai Markevich Greets People’s March Protesters
Coordinator of the Belarusian movement of non-violent youth resistance ZUBR Vladimir Kobets signed on behalf of the organization a Memorandum “On mutual understanding” with the Lithuanian “Movement of young liberal democrats”. The goal of the Memorandum is to help our country out of the self-imposed isolation and follow the path of the democratic transformations, integrating deeper into the international community.
Action Of Solidarity With Belarusian Nation Takes Place In Kiev, Ukraine
I welcome the participants of the People’s March “For Better Life!”. I’m proud of all my countrymen who find enough courage and personal will to uphold the nation’s natural demands of decent life for themselves and their children in these dark times of the agonizing criminal and anti-national regime.
60,000 Entrepreneurs Embarked on Strike by 1p.m.
At 12-1p.m. the Belarusian embassy in Kiev was picketed by the local protesters, who shared their solidarity with the People’s March “For Better Life!”, due to take place in the Belarusian capital later in the day. The picketers cried out slogans and sang national songs. The most popular slogans were “Luka, get away!”, “Long live Belarus!”, “Belarus – to Europe, Lukashenko – out of it!”, “Honor! Motherland! Dignity!” etc.
Belarus’ Defense Minister Sets Off for Abu-Dabi A Day Before War
According to the preliminary data, at 1p.m., Minsk time, at least 60 thousand entrepreneurs went on strike in Minsk, Charter’s press-center was told by the chairman of the Striking committee of entrepreneurs of Belarus Valery Levonevsky. The number of strikers is on the rise. A countrywide entrepreneurial protest is held within the framework of the national campaign People’s March “For Better Life!”.
12:35, 12/03/2003, Roman Yakovlevsky, for Radio Ratsya
Entrepreneurs’ Strike Ushers in “People’s March” Rally
Lukashenko intends to send his envoy to the Middle East. To be more precise, his Defense Minister Leonid Maltsev. A day before the announced day “X” for Saddam Hussein, on March 16 Abu Dabi – a constituent territory of the United Arab Emirates – will host international arms exhibition, where the Belarusian representation will engage.
Nil Gilevich Welcomes People’s March
March 12 morning saw a countrywide entrepreneurial strike, which is held within the framework of the national action People’s March “For Better Life!”. Today the Minsk marketplaces “Tractor”, “Akvabel”, “Chervensky”, as well as trade centers “Zerkalo”, “Palace of sports” and “Parking” halted their business operations. The country’s largest commodity market “Dynamo” is totally empty. Interestingly, two hours prior to the start of the working day, the BT TV group arrived there to video 30 kiosks, which were purposefully erected on the empty square. Most of “Zhdanovichi” tradesmen also skip trading today, just like the retailers from Grodno, Mogilev, Gomel, Vitebsk, Svetlogorsk, Rogachev, Mozyr, Borisov, Baranovichi, Zhlobin, Pinsk, Soligorsk, Novopolotsk. We’ll update you today about the places, where they hold their strikes. This evening Minsk will host the People’s March “For Better Life!”, which the striking entrepreneurs will join too. The action will start at 6p.m. at the Yakub Kolas square.
The actions of solidarity with it will be carried out throughout the country and outside it.
Action of Solidarity with People’s March Held in Bonn
National poet of Belarus Nil Gilevich assumes that by taking part in the People’s March “For Better Life!” the citizens may say “no” to the country’s leadership. “I’d really like to see it massive and I welcome the very idea of it. Hopefully, this is the method with which the people may express their viewpoint and make it clear to the authorities that they aren’t going to tolerate such nightmare any longer,” – said Nil Gilevich in an interview to Charter’s press-center.
Seleznev Passes Saddam Hussein’s Personal Greetings to Lukashenko
Activists of the Bonn affiliate of the human rights organization “Amnesty International” carried out the action in support of the People’s March. Around ten human rights advocates, the majority of whom were students of the local university, approached on Monday the gateway to the Belarusian embassy in Germany and unfurled the banner: “Lukashenko, Amnesty International Keeps an Eye on You!” The action participants raised other banners, including some with the logo of ZUBR.
Could That Be The Same Posokhov?
At the March 11 meeting of Gennady Seleznev and Alexander Lukashenko the Russian State Duma Speaker informed the head of the Belarusian state about the outcomes of his trip to Baghdad and said that the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein passes his regards to Lukashenko, reports BelaPAN.
11:39, 12/03/2003, Ales Drabchuk, Narodnaya Volya
“Belvneshpromservice”: Arms Sales to Asia, Middle East Very Lucrative
When being the presidential aide Sergei Posokhov had numerously lauded the regime and its methods of governance. However, when he found himself far from his previous place of work, he changed his mood for an opposite.
The most favorable for the Belarusian arms traders are the markets of Asia and Middle East, as well as the South American one, said in an exclusive interview to “Interfax” the director general of the exterior trade company “Belvneshprombank” Alexander Andron.