Minsk Factory Workers are on Strike in Protest Against Lukashenko

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Employees of factories in the Belarusian capital Minsk have stopped working to protest the controversial re-election of President Lukashenko.

 

Employees of car manufacturer MAZ and tractor manufacturer MTZ participate in the protest.

Strikers left their workshops and marched to the centre of the city. They chanted slogans like “Long live Belarus” and called for Lukashenko’s departure.

It has ruled the former Soviet state with a heavy hand for 26 years. Opponents believe Sunday’s election was widespread fraud to help the 65-year-old leader win.

Bystanders cheered the strikers. They waved flowers or honked from their cars.

One of the striking factory workers said he wants to return opposition candidate Svetlana Tikhanovskaya, who has fled abroad. “She’s our president. We voted for her.”

Major strikes are rare in Belarus. Lukashenko responded with a shrug to the protests. He scoffed that “twenty people decided to give their opinion”.

Tractor plant workers responded by holding up a banner that read, “There are not twenty of us, but 16,000.”

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