Live commentary from Kastrychnitskaya Square


Youth activists have decided to recall March 19, 2006 – the day of the presidential election, and have gathered at Kastrychnitskaya Square in Minsk. Our reporter Zmіtser Trauchuk is also there.
- Zmіtser, where are you and what is going on there?

- I’m at Kastrychnitskaya Square that people called the square of Kalinouski last spring. There are about 40 activists here; the majority of them are from “Malady Front”. They have come here to recall the events of March 19, 2006, namely the meeting that took place after the presidential election.

- What are they doing now?

- They are holding white-red-white flags and shouting “Long live Belarus!” and “We will stay!” The leader of the Communist party of Belarus Syarhey Kaliakin is also here, same as one of the leaders of the Belarusian social-democratic party “Hramada”  Anatol Lyaukovіch and the head of private entrepreneurs’ association “Perspectyva” Anatol Shumchanka.

- Are the police also there?

- Yes. There are 10 or 15 members of special police troops here. But the majority of people have expressive faces and a headphone in one ear. There are much more of them, some 30 or 40 people. There is also a car for transporting participants of demonstrations some 20 meters from here.

- Are they doing anything?

- Not yet, only one person with a loud-speaker is telling them to break up. Let me quote: “Those who remain at the square will be prosecuted according to the law”.

- What is the participants’ mood? How long are they going to stay at the square?

- They are cheerful, but they are being encircled and the police do not let them leave the circle and they can’t place the flag on a post. There are a lot of journalists and even representatives of the Helsinki Committee.


- Zmitser, what is going on there now?

- People are holding each other hands but special police troops forced them out from the square, led the towards the circus and made turn at Yunka Kupala Street. Now we are passing the bridge over the Svislach. We are heading the American Embassy.

- How many people are walking there?

- About 100 or 150 people including journalists.

- Are special police troops saying anything?

- Not yet. We heard the loud speaker only at the square.

- Are they just following you?

- No, they have surrounded us. The participants cannot move in any direction. Even passers-by are getting caught in this circle. You cannot leave and we do not know where we are going to.

- So the participants do not know which way they will go?

- They are walking in the direction the police let them to.


- Zmitser, please tell us what happened after our last talk?

- Participants, journalists and the police reached Bahdanovich Street not far form the “Belaya Vezha” restaurant. After that several people were taken away – they were simply made to go into the yard. We do not know what happened to them. They did not let us follow them. The other people were just made to go in different directions. Some people took a trolley-bus… The car for transporting participants of demonstrations has just passed by me… Other people simply left. No one else was detained.

- How many people got detained?

- It is not known for sure because they just dragged them from the crowd. But if you count those who remained you can say they detained about 10 people.

- Did the police say anything?

- No, they even did not order to go away. People just left.

- The action has finished, right?

- Yes. It lasted for about an hour. .It started at 8 p.m. at Kastrychnitskaya Square and finished at 9 p.m. at Bahdanovich Street.

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