Baltic States – CIS, Belarus, Democracy , Elections, Lithuania

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Saturday, 02.03.2024, 20:13

Some 50,000 people join hands in Lithuania in solidarity with Belarusians

BC, Vilnius, 24.08.2020.Print version
Almost 50,000 people in Lithuania joined hands on Sunday evening to form a human chain from Vilnius to Medininkai, a town close to the Belarusian border, to express their solidarity with Belarusians fighting for democratic changes in their country, reported LETA/BNS.

The Freedom Way stretched 32 kilometers from Cathedral Square in central Vilnius to the Medininkai memorial on the Belarusian border.


Many people wore white, held Lithuanian and Belarusian national flags, and also held flowers – sword-lilies.


"I believe it's a message not only to Belarusians but also to Russians, and Ukrainians, although they are free, it's a message to the world that they are not alone, that the world cares about them, and they should care. And that we can be united, and get united for a cause, not only thinking about ourselves, but also thinking about others," Sigita Girdzijauskiene, 48, a lecturer from Vilnius University attending the event, told LETA/BNS.


Pensioner Dalia Kaminickiene, 72, said she came to the event as she has Belarusian friends and they complain of being oppressed for many years, being persecuted, saying that corruption is widespread in the country, and they suffer hardships.


"Personally for me, it's something spiritual. 31 years ago I was five years old and I remember that event (the Baltic Way BNS) with so much joy. I believe we could just immortalize it and show our neighbors the way democratically-living people can support their neighbors. I believe it’s our duty to support neighbors," IT specialist Arvydas Macijauskas, 34, said.


"If we hadn’t come, so we would have not come during the January 13, and we would have nothing. We need to do something if we want a better life. It's a brotherly state. With no doubt, we need to help," Gintaras, 45, working in the services sector, told.


Zivile Tiskeviciute, head of communication at Laisves TV which organized the campaign, said over 49,000 people registered to take part in the chain formation but the organizers believe many more came. And participants also included Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda, ex-Lithuanian Presidents Valdas Adamkus and Dalia Grybauskaite, Speaker of the Seimas Viktoras Pranckietis, ministers, lawmakers, mayors etc.


Ten air balloons flew above the Freedom Way, and motor cycles and cyclists formed a column on the road.


Also, an air balloon took a 15-meter-long Belarusian national flag into the air above Cathedral Square in Vilnius.


Symbolic events to support Belarus and the Freedom Way also took place in some 30 countries.


The chain was formed on the anniversary of the Baltic Way on August 23, 1989 from Vilnius to Tallinn when over a million people sent a message to the world on Lithuanian, Latvia and Estonia's aspiration to end the Soviet occupation and restore independence.


The Freedom Way will be followed by a concern and TV marathon in the courtyard of Medininkai Castle and collected funds will be given to the BY Help organization that's been helping injured, detained and persecuted Belarusians and their families since 2017.



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