Use your vehicle in front of the police, the heart of the protesters’ strategy in Belarus

In Belarus, thousands of protesters took to the streets of Minsk, the country’s capital, despite a strong police presence, to protest the August 9 re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko, who is considered “rigged” by the opposition. The security forces used weapons control weapons to suppress and contain the protesters. But the latter retaliated with defensive strategies and went so far as to use their own vehicles to counter the police.The results of the presidential election in Belarus were announced on August 10 by the Central Election Commission. They give the victorious president Alexander Lukashenko who is seeking a sixth term in charge of the head of this Eastern European country. The strong man in the former Soviet bloc state for over 26 years, the outgoing president was reportedly re-elected with just over 80% of the votes cast. But the opposition felt that the presidential election was rigged.

According to Freedom house, a democracy dog, the presidential election in Belarus has not been democratic since the 1994 Lukashenko election. The organization calls Belarus an “authoritarian police state where elections are openly rigged”.

According to preliminary figures reported by the state, the opponent Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, wife of a popular Belarusian blogger, who took over her husband’s presidential campaign after his arrest, reportedly won less than 10% of the vote. On August 11, she left the country for Lithuania after promising to challenge the election result.

A video released on August 8 shows police and military vehicles passing through the Belarusian capital before the presidential election.

The protester killed by the police car

According to Netblocks, Internet access was largely blocked throughout Belarus after polling stations closed But videos and photos of witnesses have since been circulated online. One of the most important sources of amateur content was Nexta, a Belarusian media platform that mainly shares information via Telegram, but also on Facebook and YouTube. The platform receives images and videos from citizens which it then publishes on its channels which have more than half a million subscribers.

According to Viasna, a Belarusian human rights organization, at least one protester was killed on the first day of the protests, after being hit by a police car. On August 9, Nexta shared a video showing the protesters hit by the police vehicle.

In a video that was widely shared on social media on August 9, you can see a truck smashing a protester who had clung to the front of the vehicle.

In close-ups sent on Twitter on August 10, reduced police emblems can be seen on the truck that ran over a protester.

These images provoked outrage on social media in Belarus and around the world. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck. The protests spread in various areas around Minsk, rather than concentrated in a specific area. Police in riot gear stormed a rally on Friday, removing hundreds of protesters by truck.

While waiting for the use of police cars and vans, the protesters prepared a protest strategy for the demonstration on 10 August. Some with their personal cars were intended to block roads, transport people and supplies and warn others of the location of the police.

Protesters organized on Telegram and other social networks and shared tactics that people with cars could use.
On the evening of August 10, vehicles began to block the streets of Minsk, creating a traffic jam to prevent police vehicles from entering certain areas. Meanwhile, other protesters gathered at Pushkinskaya station.

A video posted on Twitter on August 10 shows cars blocking the roads near Pushkinskaya station.

Protesters in cars blocked streets near Pushkinskaya metro station