Continuing the series on the elections of March…
Several thousand Belarussians are in the main square protesting the official 82% of the vote claimed by President Alexander Lukashenko, based on exit polls reported on state TV.
BBC has a nifty photo gallery from election day.
UPDATE: Publius Pundit is keeping up with the fast pace of events (and rumor) and posting photos, as well as links to other sources of news (and rumor). I think it is a bit premature of the Publius folks to be calling it a “revolution.” But apparently there was some growth in the scale of the protest compared to the first night, and some evidence (or rumors?) of police standing by and not blocking protesters. Over at the Reaction (see right sidebar, under “cross pollination” for link), I give my reasons why I would not expect another ‘Ukraine’ in Belarus: The conditions that were present in Ukraine are not present in Belarus, notably the opposition’s prior political control of roughly half the country, and its leadership by a former “insider.” (Yushchenko was a former prime minister and head of the central bank; BBC describes Milinkevich as “An intellectual rather than a politician.”
I hope I am wrong, and the absence of the Ukrainian conditions won’t stand in the way of the liberation of the people of Europe’s last dictatorship.
FURTHER UPDATE: Thanks to the scion grafted below by Arnauh, I found the coverage at Democracy Rising, where mattyj notes something encouraging:
the police appear to have allowed the demonstration to continue – at least for now. If the opposition can convince even 25% of officers to leave their protest alone it will cause friction and indecisiveness in the security forces. This was one successful tactic in the Orange Revolution.
21 MARCH UPDATE: BBC says the “crowd” in the square numbered about 150 this morning. Not good.