Belarusians living, among others, in Poland, Georgia and Lithuania met on Saturday and commemorated the Freedom Day, celebrated on the anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic. They took to the streets in other cities because they cannot celebrate in Belarus.
Belarusian independent circles celebrate Freedom Day on the anniversary of the proclamation of the Belarusian People’s Republic (BPR) on March 25, 1918. This year marks the 105th anniversary of this event.
As the Our Niva portal reported, in Minsk along the main artery, militia vehicles with OMON (special forces) officers passed by every few minutes. Before Saturday, in various cities of the country, the militia conducted preventive searches and detained activists.
Cichanouska: Our ancestors speak with our voices
Leader of the Belarusian opposition Swiatłana Cichanouska in an occasional video speech, she emphasized that “the experience of recent years has shown how the past is related to the present and the future Belarus“Our voices are spoken by our ancestors, who defended the independence of BPR 105 years ago, and our descendants, for whom we defend the independence of Belarus,” said Cichanouska.
Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs reminded about Freedom Day in a Twitter comment. “Thousands of people in Belarus have been imprisoned by the regime of (Alyaksandr) Lukashenka (…) Commemorating Freedom Day, we want to express our unwavering solidarity with those who fight for a free and democratic Belarus,” the statement reads.
“Every nation has holidays that are its heart, soul and history”
The manifestation on the occasion of Freedom Day took place on Saturday, among others, in Bialystok.
– Every nation has holidays that are its heart, soul and history. March 25 is the day that Belarusians consider the day when their presence on the political map of the world was announced forever – said Eugeniusz Wappa, historian, chairman of the Belarusian Union in Poland.
Belarus is alive, I believe that it will be independent and democratic – said Professor Oleg Łatyszonek, historian and social activist.
People took to the streets as well Lithuania and in Georgia. Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda expressed his conviction that Belarus would be free and independent again. Prime Minister Ingryda Shimonyte stated that Lithuania would never recognize the fraudulent elections and Lukashenko’s regime.
In Vilnius, Belarusians gathered in front of the building of the Lithuanian Seym. A white-red-white flag was raised on the mast in front of the building. Then flowers were laid at the Rossa cemetery on the grave of the Belarusian activist and foreign minister of the BPR in 1918-1919, Anton Łuckiewicz, as well as his brother Ivan.
Belarusians living in Tbilisi gathered for a march in the center of the Georgian capital. In addition to the white-red-white flags, the participants also brought yellow-blue Ukrainian flags to the demonstration.
Every year on March 25, on the anniversary of the proclamation of the independent BPR, opposition and independent circles celebrate Freedom Day, an unofficial independence day.
After the election protests in 2020, celebrating the holiday, even informally, became impossible due to the wave of repression initiated by the authorities in Minsk.
Main photo source: TVN24