16 September 2019, Monday, 12:15
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Photofact: 40 Thousand People Gathered In Center Of Minsk With Pahonia And National Flags

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Photofact: 40 Thousand People Gathered In Center Of Minsk With Pahonia And National Flags

The first authorized political rally took place in the BSSR on February 19.

On February 19, the first political rally, authorized by the BSSR authorities, took place in Minsk. It was an unofficial event: those who would lead the country to independence over the course of months went up to the rostrum, Salidarnasts writes.

About 40,000 people, who were not afraid of the frost and the presence of party officials at the rostrum, gathered at the stadium.

From the memoirs of the master of the rally, Vintsuk Viachorka:

The rally was the first mass demonstration of our national symbols. There were first massively raised white-red-white flags and Pahonia coat of arms. That meeting was the presentation of the political and economic program of the BPF, and a pre-election one – our candidates were speaking there.

PHOTO BY ULADZIMIR SAPAHOU, VYTOKI.NET

It was allowed at the Dynama stadium, which was certainly convenient, because there are stands, stationary amplification. But they set a condition: it had to be a joint one. That meant that the communist leaders were going to speak there as well. We agreed – sure, that was pluralism.

The meeting lasted about two hours, though it was cold. We are all in winter hats, although according to the etiquette, hat should be removed when addressing the people. But not everyone took them off, because it was possible to freeze brains. But the people were patient, were listening, didn’t leave the place. As it was an absolutely unprecedented event, in Soviet times anything like that could not even be imagined.