Just another Sunday protest in Brest
13 September 2020, 21:33 | Stanislau Korshunau, TUT.BY
On 13 September, several thousand people participated in a protest march through the main streets of Brest. During the protest, people danced, sang songs, and performed traditional circle dances at the intersection of Masherava Avenue and Kasmanautau Boulevard. And then, a water cannon drove up.
The protesters gathered at approximately 2:30 pm near the monument to [Brest’s] 1,000th anniversary. Demonstrators stood waving flags and chanting “Long live Belarus.”
Then, they marched in a column along Savetskaya Street in the direction of Mayakouskaga. On previous Sundays, people marched from the center to the neighbourhoods, and then came to Lenin Square which had been blocked by security forces. This time, the column did not march to the square. People walked almost four kilometers through the city center along the route Savetskaya – Mayakouskaga – Kuibyshava – Mitskevicha – Karla Marksa – Mitskevicha – Kamsamolskaya – Masherava Boulevard.
According to BelaPAN, the procession gathered about 4,000 people.
On Masherava Boulevard, the demonstrators went into the road and walked in the direction of Kobrin Bridge. At the intersection of Kasmanautau Boulevard, they stopped, chanting, “This is our square.”
Traffic on the site was snarled. Public transport and cars were at a standstill on the avenue and boulevards. The demonstrators were singing “Break Down the Prison Walls” and “Three Turtles”, and performing circle dances to the music.
At around 5:00 pm, a water cannon arrived from the direction of Kasmanautau Boulevard to Masherava Avenue, which had previously stood cordoned off by security forces on Lenin Square last Sunday. People started to scatter. The specialized vehicle poured water on the road and flowerbeds, soaked several protesters, and drove away.
Ministry of Internal Affairs Video:
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, about 1,000 people “were performing circle dances, singing songs and shouting out various slogans” in the center of the intersection, before the water cannon drove up.
“By their actions, the participants of the unauthorized mass event blocked the movement of public transport and posed a real threat to the road safety of other drivers and pedestrians. A water cannon was used in order to restore the normal daily activities of citizens and ensure road safety,” the Ministry posted on its Telegram channel.
Police ran out into the avenue following the water cannon. Protesters scattered, and detentions began. People were captured on the avenue and in the yards, and then taken to police vans.
After dispersal, some of the demonstrators returned to the intersection of Masherava Avenue and Shauchenka Boulevard. They walked in a column along the boulevard in the direction of Hohalia Street. Not far from the former “Cosmos” store, they were blocked by security forces with shields and police vans. Detentions began again. People scattered around the yards. After that, the demonstrators did not gather back into a column.
The exact number of detainees on 13 September is still being estimated. According to preliminary reports, at least 10 people were delivered to the district police department.