(Updated) Dozens of thousands of people have come out in support of changes and freedom.
Today, legal pickets are held throughout the country in support of Siarhei and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskis.
In Minsk, the collection of signatures for Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya began at 12.00 at the Kamarouski market.
The website Charter97.org providfes live text coverage of the pickets.
19.30 Baranavichy, Luninets, Navapolatsk. Pickets in support of Siarhei and Sviatlana Tsikhanouskis.
18.50 According to human rights activists, 12 people have been detained today.
18.06 Residents of Vitsebsk, Hrodna, Polatsk queueing at the pickets held by the opponents of Lukashenka.
Journalists have reported a detention at the Kamarouski market. Unidentified men in uniform pushed a young man into the car.
Video fact: people are trying to beat back Pavel Seviarynets from the police (attention: foul language).
A Minsk woman: “It's time to take this power away. It’s impossible to live like that. Our grandchildren will not be able to repay Lukashenka’s loans. He destroyed the country, builds ice palaces in every village. He stands on clay feet. Lukashenka, if you have something human, leave, go away peacefully, give us a present. The air will be different. I won’t see this face on TV, hear this nasal voice that makes me sick. Lukashenka, leave peacefully. It’s not North Korea here. All people will celebrate. A huge holiday will begin all over the country. All your security officials will leave you, no one is behind you. Nobody supports you. Do not grab power with your hands that are already turning blue. Go away, please. Play the button accordion, go skating. People don’t want to see you - nobody.”
A 39-year-old Minsker could not restrain his emotions and tears at the picket: “I have to attend to three jobs to support my family. And 10 years ago one job was enough for me. This can’t be tolerated anymore. It's time to change power.”
16.19 It is reported that Pavel Seviarynets has been detained near his house. There’s also the information about the detention of activists Veranika Mishchanka and Volha Nikalaychyk.
16.18 Belarusian at the picket in Minsk quotes the grandson of Yakub Kolas: “There will be no development of Belarus without science and culture. Today there are Trinity festivals, the feast of the Holy Spirit. Man is created by the will of God. Any coercion is not from God. Today we have seen thousands of people here. And over all these days, millions of people went to pickets in all cities. These are already different people. These are proud and free Belarusians who want to be masters of their land. People, do not be afraid! We are fighting for the truth of life itself.”
16.07 A woman from the Minsk district at the picket at the Kamarouski market: “Everyone in the village is outraged by Lukashenka. I began to love Belarus thanks to our bloggers. These are our heroes. They raised us, stirred up the country. A low bow to them. Lukashenka angered people, in fact, he ruined the village. I’ve never been a patriot, but now I have pride in Belarus. For the people who take to the streets. People, dear, if you don’t come out now, we will be left without a piece of bread, with watery broth. We are now losing our chains. It is very important for the future to come out now.”
16.04 A young man is standing at the Kamarouski market with a poster in the form of a quote from George Orwell's Animal Farm. “This book is very relevant now, although it was written before the birth of Lukashenka. I do not trust this person.”
15.58 A young woman at a picket in Minsk addressed the 81-year-old Hrodna woman, a supporter of Tsikhanouski: “Mrs. Halina, hold on! Thanks to you, I am here. Special support and thanks to Siarhei Tsikhanouski. It was he who stirred up our society.”
15.57 Many people have come to the pickets for the alternative candidates in Hrodna.
15.53 People walked with Pavel Seviarynets to the metro station. The politician managed to get into the train, some people decided to accompany him to the house.
15.51 Queues at the pickets of protest candidates stand in Mazyr.
15.44 Photo fact: people collecting coins for Lukashenka to buy himself a ticket to the Hague at the picket in Minsk.
15.42 Mahiliou resident at the picket: “Lukashenka has become way too insolent and impudent, he needs to be stopped!”
15.39 People’s creativity: huge slippers with an image of a cockroach brought to the picket in Minsk.
15.37 “The pickets have shown that people are ready for peaceful protests, for acts of civil disobedience, and for a national strike,” said Pavel Seviarynets.
15.36 Pavel Seviarynets is leaving the picket at the Kamarouski market, accompanied by a crowd of people.
15.32 A young couple at the picket in Minsk: “People are already tired of Lukashenka. It’s time for him to leave. Give the way to the young!”
15.28 The number of people at the pickets at the Kamarouski market in Minsk has decreased, Belsat stopped live broadcasting.
15.27 “Stop the cockroach!” in Staubtsy: people are standing in line at the pickets of alternative candidates.
15.23 A young man at the Kamarouski market is holding the banner “Belarusians, draw conclusions!” He says that he came out for the first time: “I have long been against Lukashenka, he has no right to participate in the election. If people express their position, he will eventually leave.”
15.20 Young Belarusian at the picket in Minsk: “I would sign for anyone - just not for this bald devil. Lukashenka’s ego has swollen to an unimaginable sizes. I want to appeal to people who still serve in his structures: it's scary, your master is alien to all Belarusians and everything Belarusian. He has nothing to do with our people.”
15.16 A young businessman at the picket in Minsk has recited a poem by Yanka Kupala “Who is coming?” “This should be the anthem of this summer,” he said.
15.10 A resident of the Vitsebsk region at the picket in Minsk: “People see Lukashenka's voice trembling, eyes running, hands shaking, he loses ground under his feet.”
15.07 Brest raises the bar: more people are coming to the pickets.
15.03 Minsk resident Aliaksandr: “I have come here to support good people. Where do our taxes go? They are distributed without our participation, the officials build new palaces for themselves, take our money abroad. Yesterday I watched BT for the first time in 5 years. It's not television, it's some kind of a family telegram channel of one person. I don’t understand where my money goes - on this? Really?”
14.54 A resident of Vitsebsk at the picket: “The time has come. I remember the times when I became a “parasite”. Everything became clear to me. I was furious that a letter had come from Lukashenka that I supposedly owed him something. Only against him! The time has come for change.”
14.53 Minsk, Kamarouski market. A girl is standing with the banner “Freedom to Tsikhanouski!”
14.46 “Stop the cockroach!” in Maladechna: long queues under the white-red-white flag.
14.44 A young Minsker at the picket: “I have never been interested in politics, but now it’s just chaos. I have many friends abroad, in Spain, they don’t believe what could happen in the 21st century.”
14.43 Video fact: a huge queue for freedom in Minsk.
14.40 A Minsker at the picket: “I want Lukashenka to not participate in the election at all. He has already irritated everyone, to put it mildly. My motive is simple - a change of power. Only this is needed now.”
14.36 The agiotage at the pickets of protest candidates in Hrodna.
14.32 A young Minsker: “I signed for all the protest candidates. I was hoping that Mikalai Statkevich would participate in the election, but now we are all together. The protest candidates have now become influential leaders in the society.”
14.31 A person who came to sign at Mikalai Kazlou’s picket: “Lukashenka has already completely lost his mind. A normal person would be looking for dialogue. We must overcome it now, otherwise it will be worse. People, don’t sleep, go out! The power must be changed now. It’s time to come out. I signed, for I’m not an activist, just an ordinary person, I was buying food at the market. But now everyone needs to come out. See how our neighbors live in Europe!”
14.30 People at the Kamarouski market are chanting: “Get out!”
14.28 An elderly resident of Radashkovichy: “I will wholeheartedly oppose Lukashenka, he turned people away from him.”
14.26 Pavel Seviarynets: “Karatkevich once said that he was proud to belong to this nation. Because among us there are rebellious heroes who will conquer darkness and everything, so that our country can be free.”
14.22 People in Minsk are chanting: “Leave!”
14.20 Former Integral worker at the picket in Minsk: “I completely turned my back on Lukashenka. He needs to be defeated this year. Guys, if we don’t take to the streets, and he remains, it will mean we are worthless.”
14.19 An elderly Minsker: “This is some kind of fascism, so I came here to support Siarhei Tsikhanouski.”
14.18 Video fact: a huge queue in Mahiliou.
14.16 A resident of Maladechna at the picket in Minsk: “I’m an orphan myself, I have nothing to fear. This country is not for people, I have been trying to achieve housing for years. The power in the country should belong to the people. The people at these pickets have shown what they want. Finally, be a man, go away!”
14.15 A Minsk resident with his girlfriend at the picket: “Lukashenka is very afraid of losing power. We want change, tired of living under the rule of a senile man.”
14.13 Young Minsker Siarhei: “Come out, join us! It only depends on us whether Lukashenka will leave this year. This regime must be overthrown!”
14.12 In Polatsk, pickets are remarkable because of great weather and lots of people.
14.11 Queues at the picket in Vitsebsk: video fact.
14.08 A Minsk woman at the picket: “History is objective, Lukashenka’s time has irretrievably gone. Of course, he is afraid of this idea, because he doesn’t want to go back into the mud after he got out of the mud into Italian designer shoes. But he will have to understand that the course of history cannot be changed. People crave changes.”
14.07 A Homel man: “People can no longer be stopped, dozens of new ones will take their place.”
14.03 Pavel Seviarynets: “The people woke up, and when the people wake up, no one will be able to drive him back.” The politician is greeted with applause and the slogan “We Believe! We Can! We Shall Win!”
14.00 22-year-old Minsk resident Uladzislau: “People began to wake up after a long sleep. I personally don’t like the fact that there is no freedom of speech, there is no way to earn money, I don’t like the situation with the coronavirus, during the reign of Lukashenka our population has shortened by a million people. This cannot go on any longer.”
13.59 The number of people at the pickets in Hrodna is growing.
13.56 A young man Ales at the Kamarouski market: “Lukashenka promised to leave if people ask. People come out and ask. His rating is just ridiculous.”
13.54 A Minsk woman at the picket: “Lukashenka, flee from the country as soon as possible until people kick you out”.
13.53 Pavel Seviarynets: “Belarusians always win not with hatred and violence, but with freedom and justice. Therefore, we will win. Long live Belarus!”
13.52 At the picket in Minsk, young people announced their engagement. “Happiness to you!” the people are chanting.
13.52 An elderly Minsk woman: “Lukashenka must be brought to justice. This is the most corrupt official.”
13.50 A young Minsker: “What is happening now in the country has never happened before. We have finally become united. We have a chance to unite and change the situation.”
13.41 Reserve captain in Minsk: “I want to tell all the military to join the protesting citizens who have taken to the streets today. What Lukashenka says on TV makes people despise him. Once we defeated fascism, we will defeat Lukasism also. Today is the Trinity day, and may God help us defeat Lukashism on this holy day. Our nation is bright and clean, and people will not let anyone insult it. When Lukashenka goes to the factories, they don’t listen and despise him. The truth will win, and the lies of Lukashenka will be disclosed, and collapse when he does not expect this. As unexpectedly as the USSR collapsed.”
13.40 A huge queue lined up at the pickets in Hrodna.
13.38 A Homel man: “Lukashenka is an inadequate person, he does not understand what he is saying. People’s protest will only increase. We must change the power, and change the Constitution, so that there is no second Lukashenka.”
13.37 A young Minsker: “I came to support Tsikhanouskaya. I do not have enough freedom, freedom of speech, the opportunity to express my opinion. I stood in line for half an hour to show solidarity.”
13.36 People in Minsk are chanting “We Believe! We Can! We Shall Win!”
13.33 A young girl Alena at the picket in Minsk: “We have a lot of dignity, we have a lot of courage, we have Belarus and we must defend our Constitution here, not on a sofa. This criminal government is a disgrace! We will defend ourselves and our heroes. Don’t lose your spirit and sense of humor. Laugh at this power! Long live Belarus!”
13.29 A Minsk resident: “I want to express solidarity with those who come out today and speak boldly. Those who have a gag reflexion from the pro-government media that bring about frank nonsense, frank heresy. And to the independent media and people who tell the truth and are not afraid - many thanks and huge respect. I’m just trembling, I feel tears welling up when fragile girls and elderly women come out and boldly step forward. And the authorities must understand that history will not reverse, they are already on the sidelines. People have woken up. Lukashenka - leave. Freedom to Tsikhanouski!”
13.27 A welder from Homel: “Salaries - 300 rubles for a full work shift, they do not provide work uniform. And in general - I hate Lukashenka!”
13.25 Elderly Homel residents: “We’ve got enough of Lukashenka, we can’t look at him, or listen! We must write a complaint about him to the UN, how he humiliates the people. There is no such shame in any country. People are not afraid anymore, ready to leave the country. There is no work, no prospects. I want to believe that we will change it this year. We are determined that he will definitely leave.”
13.24 The number of people at the pickets in Minsk has increased significantly, the queue is already from the metro.
13.23 There is a crowd at the pickets of the alternative candidates in Brest.
13.21 A young Minsker: “I have already signed for changes, I brought all my friends today. Lukashenka is not ruling the country in our interests, therefore we live so badly. This year we have a unique situation - no one supports this power. Our chances for changes have grown dramatically, Lukashenka has zero support, people are very unhappy with him.”
13.20 Mahiliou from a birds eye view.
13.16 A Homel man: “Belarus is a small country. People in all cities receive the same information from independent media. People in all cities are equally dissatisfied. And we must take to the streets for a change of power everywhere, in all cities. Then we will succeed.”
13.15 The lines of supporters of changes in Brest are growing.
13.13 An elderly Minsker: “I came to sign for Sviatlana. For freedom. This is my protest. How much can we tolerate this?”
13.11 This is how the lines for the pickets in Maladechna look like.
13.08 Yan Hryb at the picket in Minsk: “I am 84 years old, but as long as I live, I will be here with the people. I urge everyone to take a decisive position, which will ultimately lead to victory, to building a peaceful, free, European Belarus.”
13.07 On the initiative of Volha Nikalaychyk, they installed a bag and started collecting a coins to buy Lukashenka a ticket to the Hague.
13.02 Volha Nikalaychyk at the picket in Minsk: “I’m not a Joan of Arc, but there are a lot of brave women in Belarus. Let his henchmen think about the consequences, about their children. I want to tell people: come here, the fate of the country is decided here! Here is a peaceful collection of signatures, here is a spirit of freedom! I want to remind Lukashenka about the fate of Ceausescu and other dictators. We will install a bag here and we will collect coins so that the moustached guy could buy himself a ticket to the Hague!”
13.00 A Minsk resident at the picket: “It's nice to see that all of Belarus has risen, that so many people are coming out. Lukashenka is an oathbreaker, his power is illegal.
12.58 A lot of people came to pickets in Brest.
12.57 A huge queue lined up at pickets in Vitsebsk.
12.55 Young Belarusian came to the picket in a T-shirt “Sasha The 3%”.
12.53 Minsker with his family at the picket: “We are sick and tired of what is happening in our country, tired of going to work abroad, I want to live in my own country. I think we will succeed. We are a strong people!”
12.52 People in the Kamarouski market are chanting: “Freedom to Tsikhanouski! Freedom to Statkevich! Freedom!”
12.45 Retiree Yan Hryb speaking at the picket in Minsk: “I wish you all good health. Don’t trust Lukashenka, who says that no one died of the coronavirus. He’s just a son of a bitch. I signed up for all the alternative candidates. Let everyone know, especially the Lukashenka bootlickers: the blood of proud Litvinians, who defended their country and beat the Swedes, Turks, Tatars, Teutons and Muscovites, flow in the veins of peaceful Belarusians. Let them know this and know that the Belarusians have awakened.”
13.38 Mikalai Kazlou in Minsk: “Our main demand is that Lukashenka cannot participate in this election at all. This is a message that we want to convey to the people. His system must cease to exist. It is mafia-minded, it is criminal. Lukashenka is the basis of this system. When he leaves - it will collapse. We don’t have five more lives to wait for this. 2 months remain. Let us be solidary and active for these 2 months, and we will succeed. We are the people, the source of power in Belarus. No matter how vigorously Lukashenka may blabber or roll his eyes, a modest blogger turned out to be stronger. The whole Lukashenka’s gang is a bone in the throat of the entire nation. The people have awakened. We have realized our strength. There are more of us, and we will succeed. ”
12.37 A Homel woman has come to the picket with the whole family: “I am for change. I already have an adult daughter of 35 years old, already have a grandson. I want them to know that we can live in another country.”
12.36 A Homel woman at the picket: “We do not live in such a country, as they show us on the Belarusian Television. There is nothing to feed children and grandchildren with. Lukashenka has been there for too long - it’s time to leave. Peacefully, after non-violent pickets. Do as the people want - leave.”
12.34 Queues lined up at the pickets in Mahiliou.
12.31 A Minsk woman at a picket: “Lukashenka can’t do anything already. We are for a change of power. Competent, adequate people must come and change our country. I have always been for young people. The youth should come to power. Sticking to that post for a quarter of a century, bringing the country to despair - this is unacceptable. The ruler should have been changed long ago.
12.31 In Minsk, girls are giving flowers to riot policemen.
12.29 The poster “Lukashenka, you are overcooked - leave!” appears at the picket of Mikalai Kazlou in Minsk.
12.27 An impressive line has formed at the picket in Minsk. Thousands of people gathered again at the Kamarouski market.
12.25 Queues at the pickets of the protest candidates line up in Maladechna.
12.24 In Polatsk, huge queues lined up at pickets.
12.23 At the picket in Minsk, people are chanting “Solidarity”!
12.21 A Homel woman at the picket: “Lukashenka is already tired, he should be at peace. Give young people a way! I want these words to be heard. Enough. I’ve got enough already. I have 37 years of experience, and I get 270 rubles of salary.”
12.16 Minsk resident at the picket: “In Belarus, the standard of living is below critical. Belarusians, we should be ashamed and hurt for what is happening in the country. We will save Belarus from the medieval sadist, as Yury Zakharanka said, we will free Belarus from this stench. I have signed for Tsikhanouskaya: they will assemble a team, carry out a reform, and be able to build a country for life.”
12.14 Pavel Seviarynets: “We need a country for life, where everyone can work and people with disabilities will not be evicted from their homes. We need a country under a white-red-white flag. Freedom!” People are chanting “Freedom!” in response.
12.10 At the picket in Minsk, a man without legs raised a white-red-white flag on crutches. This is a Belarusian Paralympic athlete. “I raised this flag at the Games in 1994. Lukashenka canceled the benefits and I, the Paralympic athlete, was kicked out of the house with my family.”
12.09 People in Minsk are chanting “Long live Belarus!”
12.06 Veranika Mishchanka at the picket in Minsk: “Lukashenka miscalculated. The people have their own leader. More precisely, leaders. And in every city new leaders appear in support of Tsikhanouski, the authorities can do nothing about it.”
12.05 Pavel Seviarynets announced a free microphone at the Kamarouski market.
12.01 Homel woman at the picket: “Lukashenka is not a president at all. He is a state criminal and must be tried. I came today to defend our freedom. So that we are free from this 30-year-old dictatorship. I urge all citizens to come out and help us gain freedom.”
11.57 Young Minsker: “We worry about Tsikhanouski and admire his courage.”
11.52 Pavel Seviarynets at a picket in Minsk: “Lukashenka must leave. Lukashenka has too many prostitutes - apparently, this is his style, he has no other options left. People gathered today to tell Lukashenka about their main desire - that he leaves. Siarhei Tsikhanouski understood best of all the soul of the Belarusian people, and kilometer-long queues confirm this. This has never happened anywhere in the world. Lukashenka himself held a picket yesterday, let's see who will have more people.
11.51 Uladzimir Niapomniashchykh in Homel: “Freedom to Siarhei Tsikhanouski, freedom to Mikalai Statkevich, freedom to political prisoners, and prostitutes and provocateurs - under trial!”
11.50 Young Belarusian woman at the picket in Minsk: "Nobody wants violence. I want to appeal to the authorities: we came peacefully. Why are you afraid of us?”
11.48 Uladzimir Niapomniashchykh in Homel: “I affirm that Lukashenka is a state criminal who not only seized power, but also threatens Belarusians. Therefore, he will be tried by a military tribunal, as Ceausescu. The people are already cross. And I think Lukashenka will be ripped into pieces precisely by those who used to be for him - when they are finally able to see clearly. This is vile power. It must be chased away with a pigpen broom.”
11.43 There is still a lot of time before the official start of the picket at the Kamarouski market in Minsk, but hundreds of people have already gathered to sign up for the changes in Belarus.
11.40 At the Kamarouski market in Minsk, there are a large number of tents with pickets of alternative candidates. There are initiative groups of Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya and Valer Tsapkala.