Thousands of people came out to the Kalinouski (Kastrychnitskaya) Square in Minsk on February 17.
The Belarusian National Congress (BNC) called on Belarusians to come out to the Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk to demand abolishment of the “social parasites” Decree #3.
Thousands of Belarusians held a demonstration in the Kastrychnitskaya Square, and then marched along the Independence Avenue to the office of the Ministry on Taxation and Dues.
The participants of the Outraged Belarusians’ March adopted the resolution, the basic demands of which were to abolish the disgraceful Decree #3 dated April 2, 2015 “On Prevention of Social Dependency”; to stop the decline of the real income, and to return free, fair elections to the people.
The authorities have been given one month to satisfy these demands – till March 17 this year.
Charter97.org carried out the text live coverage of the Outraged Belarusians’ March. The video-records have been provided by Radio Liberty and “Belsat” TV-channel.
19.30 The website Charter97.org is finishing the live text coverage. Thank you for being with us! See you at March 25 action!
19.27 The participants of the Outraged Belarusians’ March tell the journalists they will never pay the social parasites tax, and that they will join the March 25 action. Everyone says the March was surprisingly vivid and teeming.
19.24 Radio Liberty underlines that almost the whole Independence Square has been crowded with people.
19.22 The journalists have noted that a lot of people who participated in a street protest for the first time have come to the March. This is a very good indicator. The people are dispersing peacefully, with no problem.
19.17 There are many people. The journalists have reported some provocation, but there are so many people it seems impossible to detect the exact place where it happened.
Люди не расходятся! pic.twitter.com/ve3rSOsbst— Roman Protasevich (@pr0tez) 17 февраля 2017 г.
19.15 The people don’t go anywhere and are chanting “Long Live Belarus!”
19.14 Statkevich has declared the march completed and urged to gather again on March 25. “If anyone has problems with the authorities – address to me. We will not let anyone down. It’s hard to disperse, but we have proved our dignity, our will, our strength. If they don’t fulfill our demands, we will force them to do it. Thank you, Belarusian people! I believe in you and I love you!”
19.12 Statkevich: “We are giving the authorities one month to satisfy our demands. If they refuse – we will gather again, on March 25. If there are 10 times more of us – we will not only abolish the decree, we will dismiss this scum who illegally rules the country!”
The people are chanting “Retirement!” and “Leave!”
Statkevich: “We will come to the city center on March 25 again.”
19.10 The people have started burning the “letters of happiness” right on the stairs of the Ministry.
19.09 Uladzimir Niakliaeu has offered that everyone who have “letters of happiness” with them could burn them right at the demonstration. “All this is done by one person, who seized the power and illegally rules the country”. The people are chanting “Retirement!”
19.07 Viachaslau Siuchyk speaking: “It’s a great joy that there are so many of us here today. This is our city, our land and we, the Belarusians, must defend our rights! We should never forget that we are the European people!”
The people are chanting “Long Live Belarus!”
19.06 Statkevich speaking: “We will hold a demonstration and then decide on our further actions, if the illegal government fails to satisfy the people’s demands.”
19.04 The people are chanting “Long Live Belarus!” and clapping their hands.
Людей так много, что абсолютное большинство даже не помещается на пространстве перед министерством! pic.twitter.com/VBPLURcQWk— Roman Protasevich (@pr0tez) 17 февраля 2017 г.
19.03 The vanguard of the column with a banner "Basta!" has reached the stairs of the Ministry on Taxation and Dues. People are singing the song "Bolt" by the rock band "Lyapis".
19.00 A significant area of the Independence square is occupied with the outraged Belarusians.
Несколько тысяч человек в центре Минска пришли к Дому правительства, возмущенные налогом на безработицу. pic.twitter.com/T84ZQuHZSe— Roman Protasevich (@pr0tez) 17 февраля 2017 г.
18.59 The people in the Independence square are chanting “Go away!”
18.58 The journalists note that the March has been vivid and energetic. The people are not afraid, they act boldly and openly.
Несколько тысяч человек подходит к зданию правительства! pic.twitter.com/C48LwTeuvZ— Roman Protasevich (@pr0tez) 17 февраля 2017 г.
18.56 The head of the column has approached the Independence Square. The column of several thousand people has stretched from one square to another.
18.55 The people are chanting “Bread! Salt! Land! Freedom!”
18.52 The protesters are carrying the acoustic systems, playing the music of the Brutto band and Zmitser Vaitsiushkevich.
18.51 The people are singing the songs by Brutto band “Hrai”, “Not to be a beast”, “Warriors of Light”.
18.50 The police haven’t interfered and have made no charges.
18.47 The people are singing the song “Sciah”, lyrics by Uladzimir Niakliaeu.
18.46 The banner “Basta!” is heading the column, its author – Yauhen Afnahel.
18.42 There are many people from other cities. Mikalai Statkevich is heading the column. “I am discontent about the police’s behavior. As for the number of people who have come to the action, I am happy – there are several thousand people here,” – Mikalai Statkevich has told the journalists.
18.40 The people are going into the pedestrian subway.
18.38 The column has stopped near the pedestrian subway between McDonalds and the GUM store. The people are chanting “Long Live Belarus!”
18.37 The people are walking on the pavement so far, so the column appears very long.
18.36 The automobile drivers are signaling to support the people. The traffic police have blocked the movement because the people starting crossing the street against the traffic lights.
18.35 The anarchists have lighted the fires. The people are chanting “Freedom! “ and “Long Live Belarus!”
18.33 The movement in the direction of the Independence Square has started. Several thousand people are participating. The people continue coming to the action.
18.32 Statkevich: “There are too many of us here to go only along the pavement. I am addressing to the police: we need two traffic lanes in the Independence Avenue. We will show that we are the people, and will go along the Independence Avenue, like the hosts of this country. Long Live Belarus!”
18.30 A young lady speaking: “I have a wonderful mood, because we stopped being indifferent. We’ve had enough. They moved us off the management of the country 20 years ago. However, today we have gathered together, and if we go on like this, the country will change for the better.”
18.29 The representative of the anarchists’ movement speaking: “I can see the real explosion taking place in the country. It’s been a long a time since so many people gathered in the Square. We should ask the question point-blank: the real social parasites must answer directly to the people. The social parasites are the illegitimate president and his officials. We are urging to struggle against all taxes, not only with the social parasites tax. We are urging to form local committees for fighting for the free Belarus.”
18.28 Statkevich has offered 4 more people to hold negotiations with the authorities and to control the fulfillment of the demands of the March: Uladzimir Niakliaeu, Henadz Fiadynich, Yauhen Afnahel and Pavel Seviarynets. The people have voted for them unanimously.
18.27 The people are chanting “Long Live Belarus!”
18.26 The people are voting for the resolution, suggested by Mikalai Statkevich.
18.25 The people are chanting “Power to the People!”
18. 24 Mikalai Statkevich has called on the participants of the March to adopt the following resolution:
We, the participants of the Outraged Belarusians’ March, strongly demand from the authorities:
1. To abolish the disgraceful Decree #3 dated April 2, 2015 “On Prevention of Social Dependency”;
2. To stop the decline of the real income, robbing pensioners, increasing the retirement age, raising tariffs for communal services;
3. To return free, fair elections to the people;
We are tasking our elected representatives to convey these demands to the authorities, to start negotiations with them, to establish control over the fulfillment of our demands.
If the government does not take any real steps to implement the people's will within one month, until 17 March 2017, we will take the new collective action, and we are tasking our representatives to prepare thereof.
POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
18.20 Yauhen Afnahel speaking: “Today, even the authorities realized the need to speak to the opposition, to arrange the round table. However, the authorities should stop the repressions against the activists and the media, provide an opportunity to return to the country to the politicians, presidential candidate Andrei Sannikov firsthand. The authorities should start the reforms, otherwise they will have to deal not with round tables, but with hunger rebellions. We have showed that we are strong today. There haven’t been so many people in the square since 2010. We should continue our strongest moves and mass street protests. Lukashenka must know: if he doesn’t agree to a dialogue, the Russian bayonets will sweep him off. I suggest including Mikalai Statkevich into the group for the negotiations with the authorities.” This suggestion has been approved unanimously.
18.15 Nialkliaeu : “The people arrived from all over Belarus for their own money”. Natallia from Brest speaking: “We are outraged with the social parasites decree. Because the main parasites are those who have the state power today. Government, stick those letters where the sun don't shine!” The people are chanting “Long Live Belarus!” “Down with Illegal Exactions!”, “Down with Illegal Government!”
18.11 Seviarynets: “The police seem to panic because of our action. This government is afraid of people! I talked to the investigator – his voice trembled with fear! And we will not fear. Hundreds of thousands Belarusians are watching us. We are going to tell them – don’t fear! Someday in Poland, the red officials were at power, but then the people said one word and the whole country rebelled.”
The people are chanting “Solidarity!”, “No to Lukashenka!”, “No to Dictatorship!”, “No to Empire”, “Yes to Belarus !”
18.10 Henadz Fiadynich speaking: “We have collected 45 thousand signatures in 3 weeks. People were not afraid to put their names and addresses. Thanks to those who came to the Square today. The regime prevents the people from working and living. However, the people couldn’t take it any longer people - so the people are here! Long live Belarus! ". "This is not the last time we come here, but we will achieve free Belarus!"
18.09 Statkevich: “We never hid our plans. We have come to the Square and we will set our demands before the authorities. We will deliver these demands to the Ministry on Taxation and Dues and there we will decide how to make them satisfy the demands of the Belarusian people.”
18.08 Statkevich: “They seem unable to think of any other ways to stand in the people’s way. They ply their lick-spittles with alcohol and send them to cause provocations. However, they will fade away and we will remain at our land.”
Niakliaeu: “For the whole history of the regime, it caused much harm to the Belarusians. However, this idea is unprecedented – to take money from the unemployed. So, today we are going to say no to the Decree #3.”
Statkevich: “We, the people, will never let anyone treat us like that. No state in the world picks the people’s pockets to grab the last they have. We won’t allow that! It’s time to say no!” The people are chanting “No!”
18.05 Mikalai Statkevich has started speaking. A drunken provoker tried to seize a megaphone from him. The people have blocked and neutralized him.
18.04 Over 2 thousand people have gathered in the Square.
18.03 Pavel Seviarynets: “The authorities see that we are big, and they are afraid of us! Long Live Belarus! “Down with Lukashenka!”, “No to Kachanava, Lukashenka, Kabiakou!” Seviarynets has offered to clap to the rhythm of chanting “Solidarity!”
18.01 The people are coming in big numbers. One third of the square is filled. Big crowds are emerging from the direction of the metro.
18.00 The people are chanting “Lukashenka- No!”, “Dictatorship – No!”, “Down with Lukashenka!”, “Lukashenka is a satrap!”, “Freedom to People!”
17.59 The people are chanting “Long Live Belarus!”, “Lukashenka is a Social Parasite!”
17.58 Pavel Seviarynets: “Decree #3 is a kick in the teeth for all Belarusians. The authorities will get the action, and the rally today – they will have everything!”
17.56 Over 1 000 people have gathered in the Square.
17.54 Mikalai Statkevich has taken a megaphone and stepped to the stairs of the Palace of Republic. “More and more people are coming. This shows we are not a herd, we are people! I would like to thank everyone who is here today. We showed that we are the people. That we have pride. We didn’t let them step on us! Long Live Belarus!”
17.53 Mikalai Statkevich and Uladzimir Niakliaeu stay in the center of the square, thousands of people surrounding them.
17.52 The “European Belarus” activist Leanid Kulakou has come to the Kastrychnitskaya Square.
17.51 The youngsters standing at the stairs of the Palace of Republic have urged to commit the civil disobedience acts: not to pay taxes, but to form local committees on struggling with the “social parasites” decree.
Сейчас так. Людей ощутимо прибавилось. pic.twitter.com/DYbYPb8RMf— Roman Protasevich (@pr0tez) 17 февраля 2017 г.
17.50 The “Young Front” leader Zmitser Dashkevich has arrived.
17.47 The people are raising white-red-white flags..
17.45 A group of youngsters unfolded the posters saying “Who’s Main Parasite? President!” and “Take This as Tax!” with the image of a fig sign, at the stairs of the Council of Republic.
17.43 The people are gathering in the Kastrychnitskaya Square. Coordinator of the “European Belarus” civil campaign Max Viniarski and Co-Chairman of the steering committee for creating the party “Belarusian Christian Democracy” Pavel Seviarynets have arrived. The people are counted in hundreds.
17.40 Mikalai Statkevich and Uladzimir Niakliaeu have arrived.
17.25 The first participants of the Outraged Belarusians’ March have started gathering in the Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk.