Social March leads to fight but nobody is detained

The police did not interfere in the opposition action but some incidents did take place. A mass fight between neo fascists and anarchists who also participated in the Social March took place in the column. The organizers consider it a provocation of security agencies. In their turn, young radicals gathered at Kastrychnitskaya Square and marched till the House of the Government. Here is an online report about the events and the comments of organizers.

The Social March has ended in the park of Friendship of Peoples.

An “alternative” Social March has finished at Kastrychnitskaya Square. Young people took away flags and started dispersing. There have been no detentions yet.

About 50 young people have reached Independence Square. They are standing near the monument to Lenin with a transparency “No to benefits cancellation!”.

The meeting in the park of Friendship of Peoples continues.

Young people are leaving Kastrychnitskaya Square and are heading for Independence Square. They are approaching the Central Book Store. People in plain clothes tried to drag a participant out of the column but he was snatched away from them.

The action at Kastrychitskaya Square is over. About 60 people are heading for the supermarket “GUM”. Ivashkevich is gone.

Milinkevich has been released. He is among democratic activists now.

— Mr. Alyaksandr, you met electors in Masty, is it true that you were detained?

— I think our meeting with people is more important than the detention. We met young and elderly citizens. People usually stay away fearing to approach the venue but Masty inhabitants were not afraid and they came.

We talked about different problems and the situation in the country. It was a good talk. The police stood nearby listening. Then they approached and said: why didn’t you send an appeal to organize the meeting? I answered that it was not a meeting; it was just a talk between people. They detained me but I was released soon afterwards. Now I’m among activists and we are discussing our plans.

— Why did you choose Masty?

— Because there are good people there, I love Masty and I had not been there for a long time.

The meeting in the park of Friendship of Peoples continues. Valery Uhnalyou and Syarhey Kalyakin (leaders of the Belarusian Communist Party) have made their speeches.

Alyaksandr Milinkevich who organized a meeting with inhabitants of Masty has been detained in the town. He is giving explanations in the police office now. He informed ERB about it.

More people have arrived at Kastrychnitskaya Square. Transparencies “Release Kazulin” and “Young social democrats” have appeared there.

About 30 people have gathered at Kastrychnitskaya Square. The deputy head of BNF Victar Ivashkevich is among them. He is holding two flags: a white-red-white flag and the flag of the European Union. 5 other people are also holding flags. There are 25 people watching the action. Victar Ivashkevich is going to ask people to go to Banhalor.

Young people said they would not go to Banhalor during the Social March but would gather at Kastrychnitskaya Square instead and would proceed till Independence Square. One of the organizers, Victar Ivashkevich, went to Kastrychnitskaya Square to urge young people to join the Social March.

— Mr. Victar, what is happening there?

— There are 5 people with flags. Twenty five people are watching. Thirty journalists are taking pictures. A manifold community has gathered to participate in the Social March today. Some young people started fighting probably because they were urged by security agencies in order to make a good piece of news for BT.

I have come to Kastrychnitskaya Square with an acquaintance of mine, an entrepreneur, and we are making our own news. We have a white-red-white flag, a European flag and the flag of entrepreneurs. (Laughs). Nobody it trying to force us out, we are in the very centre.

The thing is that we are alone and there are about 25 spectators pretending they have nothing to do with it. They say they will tell the police they have nothing to do with it if they detain them and if they won’t, they will tell everyone they were here.

— What are you going to do?

— We will stay here for several dozen minutes, invite them to Banhalor and I will go there. I will make a speech.

— Was it of any use to gather here while the meeting is at Banhalor Square?

— I have always said that making Banhalor a scarecrow is stupid. I’m telling the radicals who think they are super radicals just because they have gathered here that they are not radicals because they have not come to the meeting. Those who presented me shovels for dogs’ shit and said they would gather at Kastrychnitskaya Square got frightened and they have not come. I’m not afraid. I’m not afraid of their accusations and I will go to Banhalor.

— What if they have gathered somewhere else?

— In a bar or something?

“Belaya Vola”’s right ultras left the column after having beaten a guy. Anarchists also left a bit later. The final “showdown” may take place in yards near Banhalor Square. Meanwhile, the column has already reached the park of Friendship of Peoples.

An ERB reporter Zmitser Trauchuk informs that two special police troops’ buses and police cars are parked near the “Zhuravinka” restaurant not far from Kastrychitskaya Square.

In his interview with ERB the organizer of the social March Valery Uhnalyou called the fight between right ultras and anarchists in the column a provocation. He also noted that he doubted that something could take place at Kastrychnitskaya Square.

ERB has contacted its organizer Valery Uhnalyou from the Communist Party.

How is the march going, have your hopes been justified?

— I see a lot of people who have never attended any actions before and they support our mottos about the social policy. The weather is bad, it is very cold but many people neglected the cold and obstacles created by the authorities and came to the march in spite of provocations. There are a lot of people and they do not want to be silent. The authorities fear it. Our activists had been taken to police offices in Minsk and throughout the country before the march started.

— You were detained and released many times today too…

— Yes but I’m back in the column again. I hope they will not detain me again till the end of the meeting. We’ll see what they are going to do after it.

— What do you think about the fight of young right ultras and anarchists in the column? Was it a provocation?

— It was a provocation I’m 100% sure of it! Those who came to support social mottos and social policy wouldn’t have started fighting. It is evident that those who fought had come to the march with some other purpose.

— What can you say about other alternative youth actions planned in Minsk?

— I don’t think there will be anything alternative. Our action is for everyone and representatives of different political parties have arrived. BNF, social democrats, communists are here. If anyone decides to gather at Kastrychnitskaya Square we will be able to persuade them into joining our action.

The leader of the United Civil Party Anatol Lyabedzka has not come to Banhalor. He commented on his decision for ERB and said that he did not want to go to Banhalor for moral and ethical reasons. His task was to gather people near the Academy of Sciences. At the same time, Lyabedzka did not forbid his party mates to go to the park of Friendship of Peoples together with the other participants.

Everything is peaceful at Kastrychnitskaya Square at the moment. There are no opposition members and no police.

The front of the column is already near the supermarket “Ryha”. The organizer of the march Valery Uhnalyou has been detained for the second time. It happened when he arrived at the Academy of Sciences. According to him, the police managed to get all the details on the spot and did not take him to the police office. He has joined the manifestation recently.

The fight is over; the column continues moving along Surhanava Street.

A fight has started among the action’s participants in the column. The right ultras from “Belaya Vola” are fighting with anarchists. Special police troops have appeared although nobody had noticed them before.

Police buses and special police troops’ cars have been noticed near Kastrychnitskaya Square.

The column of participants of the Social March has reached Yakub Kolas Street. According to different experts, there are about 1200-1500 people taking part in the march. The action is peaceful. Participants are walking along the pavement and do not enter the traffic way.

12.52 Equipment needed for the meeting has been confiscated near the Academy of Sciences. The column has started moving towards Banhalor Square. It is leaving Independence Avenue and is entering Surhanava Street.

12.41 Valery Uhnalyou has been released from Central District Department of the Interior. He is heading for the Academy of Sciences. According to him, the manifestation will start when he arrived there. Meanwhile, young anarchists and the “Belaya Vola” organization have formed a column and are preparing to set off. Representatives of BNF and Maladaya Hramada are following them. According to experts, there are about 1 thousand people near the Academy of Sciences.

12.35 The organizer of the Social March Valery Uhnaleu has been detained at Banhalor Square. The leader of the Belarusian Communist Party Syarhey Kalyakin informed ERB about it. According to him, he will lead the action from now on.

12.27 Alyaksandr Milinkevich organizes meetings with Masty inhabitants alongside with the action in Minsk. Local inhabitants asked for the meetings and they will be dedicated to benefits cancellation. Milinkevich’s car was stopped by special police troops when it was approaching the town. The police troops members were armed and said they needed to check documents. The politician does not exclude that the authorities may try to prevent his meeting with local inhabitants by any means, reports the politician’s press service.

12.20 A former presidential candidate Uladzimir Hancharyk has been noticed among the present.

12.10 The action’s organizers have approached the building of the Academy. Red, red-green, white-red-white and Russian flags flutter above the heads of the present. Representatives of different political parties including unregistered organizations “Belaya Vola” and “Malady Front” have also brought their flags.

11.58 The action’s participants are gathering near the Academy of Sciences. There are about 300 people at the moment. Flags are appearing. Those are mostly red flags of the Soviet Union. There are a few national white-red-white flags too.

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