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A memorial action on the anniversary of the Belarusian protests in 2020 was held in Bremen

Updated: Aug 19, 2023

On August 9, a moving action was held in Bremen to mark the third anniversary of the mass protests that took place in Belarus after the presidential election rigged by the authorities.

Photo -Salidarnast
Protest participants

More than forty residents of Bremen gathered to express their respect for the courage of the Belarusian people, who fearlessly stood up for their rights to fair elections. Instead of peaceful dialog, Lukashenka regime used violence with the help of hundreds of thousands of security forces from the Interior Ministry, the KGB and the Armed Forces. It also became known that Russian forces were involved in suppressing the protests.

Near the theater on Goetheplatz, protesters created a mini-exhibition with photos of those events three years ago. They handed out flyers with information about the situation in Belarus and set up portraits of those who died and died in custody.

Representatives of the Ukrainian diaspora expressed support for the Belarusians, and often the slogan "Zhyve Belarus" was accompanied by the cry "Glory to Ukraine!". During the action, not only speeches were made from the stage, but also Belarusian popular songs sung by Iryna Kashtalian.

The event attracted residents of Bremen, who took part in the evacuation of Belarusians, rescuing them from persecution in their homeland. Ernesto Harder, leader of the DGB Bremen-Elba-Weser trade union association, emphasized in his speech the pride of German trade unions for supporting Belarusians in difficult times, and promised to continue this support.

Lizaveta Merliak, who heads the Association "Salidarnast", which supports arrested and convicted trade union activists in Belarus, shared information about the current situation in the country. She spoke about her comrades in prisons and camps. About 1,500 political prisoners suffering from unbearable conditions and abuse.

Ernesto Herder and Lizaveta Merlak.
Ernesto Harder and Lizaveta Merlak.

Despite the fact that many trade unionists had to leave Belarus, many of them found a new home in Bremen, thanks to the city leadership and the German Federation of Trade Unions DGB:

- Our solidarity and support will help you in this difficult moment when the regime is trying to forget about you by locking you up in prisons. Solidarity with you is solidarity with Belarus, fighting for freedom from dictatorship. Freedom to all political prisoners. Freedom to activists!

The action was supported by almost fifty participants, who ended the action with applause and the slogan "Zhyve Belarus". Iryna Kashtalian closing performance was the actual finale of the event, she performed the unofficial anthem of the 2020 protests – the song "Razbury mury", based on the melody of "L'Estaca" and the song "Solidarnosc" by Polish bard Jacek Kachmarski.

The organizers of the action were activists of the Bremen group RAZAM e.V., which unites Belarusian citizens in Germany. The action was supported by members of the Association Salidarnast e.V., which provides assistance to the leaders and activists of Belarusian independent trade unions in exile.

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