One year ago, on 16 August 2020, mass protests erupted in many Belarusian cities. Peaceful protesters demanded an end to violence, Lukashenko’s resignation and new elections.

“March for Freedom”. 16 August 2020. Photo: Nasha Niva

In Minsk, the “March for Freedom” was the largest protest in the history of Belarus, with 200,000 to 500,000 people taking part. People gathered at the Stela, where a few days ago security forces had been shooting and throwing grenades. The general mood was very positive, people came in families with small children, strangers were hugging and singing songs, volunteers were bringing water. Flags were waved in the air, and people had real hope for the long-awaited change.

Maria Kolesnikova, a member of the United election HQ, who is now being tried behind closed doors and faces up to twelve years in prison, also addressed the Belarusians.

Today many Belarusians in social networks recalled the 16 of August, 2020, the day when everyone for the first time saw how many people in the country wanted change: “Sometimes we have to remind ourselves: all these wonderful people haven’t gone anywhere. They’ve become tired and angry maybe. But they haven’t disappeared”.

Source: Voice of Belarus