The Belarusians came out to the Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk.
The national solidarity action in Minsk was announced by the Belarusian National Congress.
The festive action started at 2 p.m. in the Kastrychnitskaya Square and continued in the Independence Square in Minsk. The demands to improve the living conditions of the working people and to release political prisoners were set.
About 800 people took part in the action.
Charter97.org provided live text coverage of the event. The video was provided by Radio Liberty, nn.by and Belsat TV.
We close our online broadcasting on this. Thank you for staying with us!
The action is over. The people start leaving.
The participants of the action in Minsk are being interviewed by the media. They say as one that they have and will come out to the protest actions until Belarus is finally free.
The demand to release Mikalai Statkevich has been added to the resolution.
The participants of the May Day action have adopted the following resolution:
"We, the citizens of Belarus, strongly protest against the irresponsible, incompetent and criminal policies of the authorities. This power has deceived the people and ruined the economy, condemning pensioners to poverty, and forcing young people to seek work in a foreign country. The authorities trade in the independence of the country and draw Belarus into dangerous unions, hoping that the new Moscow handouts will allow them to hold over for a few more years.
The authorities falsify "elections" to guarantee its constant presence and use the state media as the means of misinformation and manipulation of public opinion.
The largest item of state budget expenditures is the payment of exorbitant external debts, which go to the luxurious amusements of the powers that be and to maintain the colossal apparatus of suppressing the people.
But neither the security officials, who have passed all bounds and behave like invaders in our country, nor the corrupt courts are able to intimidate us, the citizens of Belarus, if we have decided to achieve freedom, truth and justice.
To save our Belarus and provide a decent future for our children, we demand:
1. Stop repressions, rehabilitate all those convicted for protests, to punish the perpetrators of repressions.
2. Abolish the decree on "parasites", the general contract system and other unlawful levies.
3. Set unemployment benefits in the amounts from the minimum consumer budget to 75% of the average annual salary, and increase pensions and all social payments by at least 40%.
4. Facilitate fair and equal early elections at all the levels under international control.
5. Stop participation of Belarus in dangerous and unprofitable military and financial unions.
To finance the measures of restoring social justice, we suggest:
1. Selling useless and unprofitable ice palaces, most of the presidential residences, presidential aircrafts and the collection of limousines, and releasing to the public the property of Lukashenka’s administration and hand it in the economic jurisdiction of the parliament.
3. The prosecutor's office is to check information on the illegal transfer of the right to sell the products of oil refining to private companies, and deductions of revenues to the accounts of Lukashenka’s family. We suggest contacting the relevant international bodies for observation and returning the illegally appropriated funds to the state budget.
4. Eliminating unconstitutional security forces, reduce the expenses of the police, special services and the presidential vertical by 50%.
We urge the authorities to conduct direct negotiations with our representatives on the fulfillment of the people's demands.
We have been brought here by our pain and anger. We will protest and take to the squares of our cities until the authorities hear the voice of the people.
Power to the people!
Long live Belarus!
May 1, 2017, Minsk."
Uladzimir Niakliaeu is speaking near the Red Catholic Church, presenting the May Day resolutuion.
The people are chanting “Long Live Belarus!”, “Freedom for Statkevich!”, “Freedom for Political Prisoners!”
The demonstrators have arrived to the Independence Square. There are detention trucks parked all over the place. Pavel Seviarynets has called on the people to come closer to the Red Catholic Church.
The people are marching at the other side of the Avenue as well. Generally speaking, there are about 1 000 participants of the action.
The participants of the rally are chanting “No Fear!”
Over 500 people have approached the KGB building. The people are chanting “Down with KGB!” and “Freedom!”
The column under the white-red-white flag is marching along the Avenue. The people are chanting “Freedom for Political Prisoners!” and “Long Live Belarus!”
The column is accompanied by detention trucks.
The column is moving in the direction of the Independence Avenue. The “European Belarus” activists Yauhen Afnahel, Maxim Viniarski, Andrei Sharenda, the BCD leader Pavel Seviarynets are leading the column. The people are chanting “Basta!”
Coordinator of the “European Belarus” Yauhen Afnahel has held a speech. He has called on the participants of the action to take a rally along the Independence Avenue in the direction of the Independence Square.
Viachaslau Siuchyk is speaking. He says that the Belarusians will move their country closer to freedom by peaceful actions. The politician has demanded release of the patriots, imprisoned in the KGB jail.
One of the BDC leaders Pavel Seviarynets is speaking. “We need to say it loud, so that the glass in the windows of Lukashenka’s administration would tremble. We demand their dismissal!” – he has said. The people are chanting “Dismissal!”
The participants of the action demand to release the activists, arrested in the “White Legion” case.
Maryna Adamovich, the wife of arrested BNC leader Mikalai Statkevich, is speaking. She says that May 1 is, in the first place, a holiday of solidarity. She has reminded about the protest actions which are happening all over the country since February 17, and stated that, despite the mass repressions, the authorities failed to suppress the people’s will for freedom.
There are about 500 people in the Square. The people are chanting “Shame!” at the police.
Uladzimir Niakliaeu thanked everyone who has come to the solidarity demonstration on May 1. “Thank you for having no fear after the lawlessness committed by the government on the eve, the numerous arrests of the people all over Belarus. Belarus is ready for changes and new life!”
Maxim Viniarski has urged to express solidarity with political prisoners. The people are chanting “Freedom for Political Prisoners!”
The people have gathered at the porch of the Palace of Republic. The opposition leaders are speaking.
The people are chanting “Long Live Belarus!” and “Freedom for Political Prisoners!”
Natallia Papkova has informed that the activist with the sound equipment has been detained.
The people have hoisted the white-red-white flags. Leanid Kulakou and Maxim Viniarski have unfolded the flag of the “European Belarus” civil campaign.
Activist Natallia Papkova has made it to the Square in Minsk, she arrived from Brest. Leader of the movement “For Freedom” Yury Hubarevich and leader of the solidarity movement “Razam” Viachaslau Siuchyk have also come.
One of the leaders of the Belarusian National Congress poet Uladzimir Niakliaeu has come to the Karstrychnitskaya Square, the same as Maryna Adamovich, the wife of arrested BNC leader Mikalai Statkevich, the “European Belarus” activist Maxim Viniarski, HR defender Valer Shchukin and many others.
The police are urging people to disperse. Many detention trucks are parked near the Square.
Regardless of the arrests of the oppositionists, which happened all over the country, several hundred people have already come out to the Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk.