- Female protesters broke through a riot police cordon in Minsk, Belarus on Saturday as anti-government demonstrations against President Alexander Lukashenko and his government intensify.
- In a dramatic video, a group of women can be seen pushing back police officers who had their linked arms to create a barrier, while chanting “this is our city.”
- The protest marks the latest anti-government demonstrations calling on authoritarian President Lukashenko to step down after a much-disputed election earlier this month.
- Authorities in Belarus have launched a press crackdown and withdrawn the accreditation of many Belarusian reporters covering the large anti-government protests.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A phalanx of female protesters broke through a riot police cordon during a protest in Minsk, Belarus, on Saturday, in a dramatic moment captured on video.
The incident happened during a so-called “march of solidarity,” the latest of a series of anti-government protests that have rocked the country since the disputed presidential election.
In the video, a group of women push through a line of police officers who had their linked arms to create a barrier. As the police struggle to stick together, the protesters appear to successfully break through the cordon while chanting, “this is our city.”
Later in the video, another powerful moment ensued when female protesters rushed to hug and protect a man who had been approached by a police officer.
Watch the clip below:
—Joyce Karam (@Joyce_Karam) August 29, 2020
The protest marks the latest of anti-government demonstrations that have called on authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko and his government to step down after a much-disputed election earlier this month.
Lukashenko denies opposition accusations that he rigged the August 9 election to prolong his 26-year rule and claims that the protests — which have brought hundreds and thousands of people to the streets — are funded by the West.
Many of the protesters were wearing a national dress and were waving flowers and flags, ignoring the calls by police not to disturb public order. Streets along the protest route had been cordoned off and blocked with vans.
While no mass arrests took place during the march, US state-run Radio Free Europe claimed that the police detained two of its reporters.
Authorities in Belarus have withdrawn the accreditation of many journalists reporting on the post-election protest, including two journalists with the BBC’s Russian service.
In a statement released on Saturday, the BBC said it condemned “in the strongest possible terms this stifling of independent journalism.”