MINSK, March 25 (Itar-Tass) —— More than 1,000 Belarusian opposition members gathered in front of the Belarusian National Academy of Sciences building in Minsk to commemorate the 94th anniversary of declaration of the Belarusian People’s Republic with an authorized rally and march. The opposition calls this date the Day of Will.
The organizers said they were permitted to carry the white-red-white flags – state symbols of the Belarusian People’s Republic and the Republic of Belarus from 1991-1995. Plenty of policemen in uniforms and civil clothes are watching the action. Police buses are parked nearby.
The opposition will also carry placards, which demand the release of political prisoners and condemn the policy of President Alexander Lukashenko.
The Belarusian People’s Republic was declared early in the morning on March 25, 1918, after the signing of the Peace Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and the Bolsheviks’ withdrawal from Minsk. It existed for a short period of time, but the opposition views the republic as the beginning of statehood of the Belarusian people. The anniversary is marked with annual opposition actions, which may be authorized or not, for the past two decades. From several hundreds to several thousands of people take part in the actions, which frequently witness clashes with the police and detentions.