CALGAR — Several dozen Calgarians, with ties to Belarus protested peacefully at Olympic plaza Sunday morning, raising awareness of the political discourse continuing in Belarus.
“What’s going on right now in Belarus, is something horrible,” said Iryna Sazanovich.
“Hundreds of people have been tortured and have a lot of injuries.”
Sazanovich was protesting the recent election results in her home country that saw Europe’s last dictator, Alexander Lukashenko win a sixth consecutive term, winning apparently 80 per cent of the vote. The opposition claims the results were rigged.
Tens of thousands of Belarussians have protested the results for several weeks, demanding Lukashenko resign.
Lukashenko has directed state police to control the crowds and the army to protect any national monuments.
Calgarians say they want to stand in solidarity with those in Belarus.
“They want the regime to fall down, they want the president to go, they want a new president,” said demonstrator Daniel Girvitz.
“We’re worried, we have friends, we have relatives, we have family and we’re tired of this illegal regime.”
Tens of thousands of people in Belarus were out in force again on Sunday in the capital Minsk chanting ‘Go Away’ and ‘Long Live Belarus.’
Those in Calgary hope their voice can be heard as well, saying they want change now from the authoritarian government.
“It’s disgusting, morally, ethically (and) legally, something must be done and that’s why we’re here,” said Girvitz.
Police used rubber bullets and flash bangs to control the crowds, at least four people have been reported dead, thousands injured.
Belarus’ election took place August 9th.