Celebration of the official Independence Day in Minsk is held under martial law conditions.
Participants of celebration of the official Independence Day began to come to the corner of Masherau and Winners Avenues in Minsk at 11:00 am. Thousands of uniformed and plainclothes policemen arrived earlier. Most people were ordered at work to visit the event. They held banners pointing their belonging to city’s district. Each city district has own sector on stands. There were a great number of officials with small flags “Belaya Rus” and “BRSM”, both pro-presidential organizations.
To see the military parade, one had to pass through three police cordons. Police called on people not to stand in one place, but to go to the spectator area and take their seats in accordance with invitations.
Big queues stood to checkpoints. The searching procedure was very long. People reported on social networking sites that everyone had to undergo a personal search and a search with a hand held metal detector. All visitors were also filmed. Policemen searched not only civilians, but also other policemen not trusting even their colleagues.
A lot of police buses with riot police stood in the city. Policemen were noticed on squares, in metro, in the yards and on the roofs of the houses along Independence Avenue and Winners Avenue.
The military parade did not attach many people. Only about 5,000 people gathered at the stella monument. Alyaksandr Lukashenka was met rather cold. Nobody applaud even on the spectator stand for officials.
There were a lot of plainclothes security service officers at the parade. People heard them saying on walkie-talkies: “Hold those who is too active”.
Alyaksandr Lukashenka said in his speech that external forces wanted to destroy public consent and make Belarus kneel trying to destabilize the situation in the country.
Almost no one applaud after the dictator ended his speech. “No one was authorized to clap,” viewers of the parade joked on Twitter hinting at the recent statement by deputy chief of the Minsk police Ihar Yauseeu, who said after the silent protests that “only applause to war veterans and war participants” would be permitted on July 3.
Visitors of social networking sites report they heard on a policemen’s walkie-talkie that people had been detained and say about absurd security measures:
“Two men in mufti stand nearby. When I tried to clap, one of them came to me and said I’d better not do it. Lukashenka ended speaking, but even his typical supporters did not clap.”
“I heard about detentions of the persons who tried to clap during Lukashenka’s speech.”
Radio Svaboda journalists heard that curators of groups from organizations ordered their groups to stand quiet, not to clap, not to shout and not to express any emotions. Ideologists perhaps tried to dissociate from activists of the campaign “Revolution by social networks”.
These security measures were explained by calls on the Internet to come to a silent protest action on July 3 and clap protesting against the regime’s policy.
People began to leave the celebration before the end. After Lukashenka went away, security services and ideologists became less vigilant and people rushed from the celebration epicenter. Only audience on stands remained.