9 August 2020, Sunday, 23:41
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Belarusians Line Up In Huge Queue In Center Of Minsk

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Belarusians Line Up In Huge Queue In Center Of Minsk
PHOTO: VADZIM ZAMIROUSKI / TUT.BY

Drivers are honking the horns in support as they pass by.

Pavel Belavus, CEO at the souvenir shop Symbal.by, located on Masherau Avenue, 18, reported the shop was closing since June 29. After that, a queue lined up near the shop. Soon, a paddy wagon arrived, and special policemen started detaining people. Regardless of these circumstances, people have come to the shop again today, forming a huge queue that continues to grow, tut.by reports.

The Symbal.by shop is not big. There is a crowd of customers inside at about 12.00. Those who could not enter inside have lined up outside. It seems this is the most popular queue in the capital today.

Volha and her little daughter Yanina are standing near the entrance to the shop. The mother says they came some 15 minutes ago, 12 people divided them from the entrance then. Volha says they used to pop in Symbal.by from time to time. Today, they have come not only for shopping, but also to express solidarity.

— What has been happening recently causes outrage with everybody, no positive feelings at all, — Volha is telling. — We used to buy different stuff here, magazines in the Belarusian language, which we read. My daughter is upset that they are closing the shop.

According to shop assistants, it has been crowded since 10 a.m. today, since they opened the doors. Although there are three people at the cash-desk, the queue is growing, more and more customers are coming. Some sincerely confess that they decided to come here for the first time after the news yesterday. Illia, entrepreneur, is such customer.

— I have my own business and I can imagine how the state bodies can influence the affairs. I know how uneasy it is for the guys now, — a youngster who deals with transportation explains his position. — I want to contribute to their business, support them. Of course, within the framework of the current legislation. We violate nothing, we just want to peacefully convey our vision. [… ] It is painful to see how the authorities are fighting their own people, everyone wants changes.

There are about 10 people in front of Illia. When asked what he will do if they buy out everything before his turn comes, he said: “I will buy something to support the guys.”

When reporters started talking with Illia, he was the last in the line. In five minutes, five more people have come and stood in the line. Now the last person in the queue is Vital, he has come from Dziarzhynsk specifically to shop here. The man jokes he has no other errands to run in Minsk today.

— I want to buy some stuff for myself, and support the shop owners at such difficult times, — Vital describes his shopping. — Maybe I will buy a T-shirt, or something else, it doesn’t really matter.

Passers-by also pay attention to the queue. “I am so proud of you!” a woman passing by supported the shop customers. Some drivers are honking the horns as they drive by.

— Where is the beginning of this queue? — a young lady says, and the reporters show her to the end of the line, which is slowly approaching the end of the building.