The capital has not seen anything like this for a long time.
Politicians and activists called on the people to come to a solidarity picket today, on June 18, at 6 p.m. to the area in front of the Belarusian State Philharmonic building in the Yakub Kolas Square.
It was an action of solidarity with political prisoners.
Belarusian presidential hopeful Viktar Babaryka was detained today in Minsk. Previously, popular blogger Siarhei Tsikhanouski, opposition leaders Mikalai Statkevich, Pavel Seviarynets, Maksim Viniarski, Volha Nikalaychyk, and others were detained.
23:30 The website Сharter97.org is finishing the online text coverage, but the video stream continues. Many Belarusians stay on the Independence Avenue. Thank you for staying with us!
23:17 The people are singing "Three Turtles" in the Independence Square.
23:06 Belarusians are still standing in the avenue. Maryna Adamovich, the wife of one of the opposition leaders Mikalai Statkevich, has joined the action.
22:39 The people have started lining up around the city. Some are approaching Niamiha, others - the railway station. The photo from Miasnikova Square.
22:27 The action has acquired a spontaneous character. There are very many people, they are standing on the pavement at both sides of the Independence Avenue. Many are applauding, chanting "Stop the Cockroach!", and "Leave!".
22:20 It has got dark. Belarusian do not leave, lighting the flashlights in their phones.
22:10 The people are already lining up towards the railway station.
21: 56 The people are already standing in the Independent Square, applauding.
21:47 There's constant car signalling buzzing over the Independent Avenue. Drivers keep signalling in support of the people standing in the queue.
21:40 The 3-kilometer queue has reached the Independence Square!
21:31 The queue has stretched to the KGB office in the Independence Avenue.
21:25 There's an incredible noise over the Independence Avenue due to the constant car signalling sounds. Drivers express their solidarity.
21:21 The picket has officially ended, but Belarusians are still standing in a live chain, which has reached the GUM store.
20:55 The queue has stretched for over two kilometers. The live chain has reached the Kastrychnitskaya Square. The automobiles driving by along the Independence Avenue are signalling to show solidarity with the participants of the action.
20:30 The Solidarity Picket will last till 9 p.m.
20:00 After the rain, the people have again formed a long queue, which has stretched for over a kilometer.
19:12 A storm has started, the people are hiding under the roofs of the neighbouring buildings, but nobody leaves. The picketeers are discussing the situation, giving outraged comments to the media.
19:05 “Lukashenka has lost connection with the reality, he is behaving as some sort of a riff raff. Even if he once again re-elects himself, it will not last long. Everything is against him, including the economy,” says a woman-participant of the solidarity action.
19:04 A woman is crying as she comments on the arrest of Viktar Babaryka. Another Minsk woman says that the authorities are clearly very-very scared, and so she does not lose hope for changes.
18:56 It has started raining heavily, but the people continue to stand there. The participants of the action have formed groups, they are discussing the latest news.
18:50 The people in the queue are saying that they do not trust the charges pressed against Viktar Babaryka, the potential presidential contender. “People should come out and fight. Nothing comes by itself. We don’t want anything bad. We want to live as humans,” a participant of the action is saying.
18:35 Minskers are expressing their outrage about today’s arrest of the possible presidential contender Viktar Babaryka, to the cameras of journalists. They say they have come here to support him, as well as Siarhei Tsikhanouski, Pavel Seviarynets, and other political prisoners.
18:34 The queue continues to grow - the live chain is stretching closer to the Victory Square.
18:28 The people have lined up along the Independence Avenue to put their signatures for the alternative candidates. Many are clapping their hands.
18:27 More and more people are joining the action. Several thousand people are already participating in the Solidarity Picket.
18:20 One of the organizers of the action, leader of the United Civil Party Mikalai Kazlou is calling on the people to form a chain along the avenue, “to show to the authorities that there are thousands of us”.
18:19 The participants of the picket have formed a long queue along the Independence Avenue.
18:15 There are quite a lot of people in the square, around several hundred.