It looks like people are gathering again on October Square, in Minsk, to protest the results of the Belarus election.
Neeka’s Backlog is providing some of the best English language coverage again today, and she tells of a couple of (contradictory) reports on the number of protestors gathering:
Channel 5 News (a Ukrainian channel?) reports that more people have gathered on the square than last night (if so, we’re talking tens of thousands).
But, Wolny, a Belarusian blogging live from the square reports that 6-7,000 people have arrived, and that he doesn’t really expect any more.
If the second, lower figure is the more accurate one (and I suspect it is), I’d imagine that, again we’ll spend the night wondering if the protests can continue into tomorrow and beyond.
The numbers are a little disappointing, and I worry that they haven’t really hit the critical mass necessary to really spark of a continuing protest, and that, from here, they will decline over the next few nights.
Still, one can never tell with these kinds of things. Anything could still happen over the next few days.
The OSCE, by the way, produced the report everyone expected, condemning the way the election was run:
“The Belarussian election was severely flawed due to arbitrary use of state power and restrictions to basic rights,” the OSCE said in a statement.
The US and EU have also voiced their displeasure, with the US coming right out and calling for a re-run of the election, and the EU going one step further by mooting the idea of sanctions.
Update: Publius Pundit is also updating regularly, with some more encouraging news than Neeka (!). He’s also pointed me in the direction of Rush-Mush, a new Russian blog which is currently translating the live reports of Belarussian bloggers into English.
The Filter is also covering events live, as they unfold. One of his sources confirms that protestors have gone home for the night (and as its 7pm GMT as I write this – or 10pm Minsk time) this strikes me as a little early for committed democracy activists to be going home to bed.
Update 2: After midnight, Minsk time, and what a night it seems to have been. The protests seem to have turned into something serious (but still peaceful), with even a few tents showing up. Police attempted to take away the electric generator, but were talked down by Milinkevich, rumours abounded that there was going to be an attack by police (which doesn’t seem to have materialised). Worryingly though, Alexander Milinkevich’s two sons seem to be missing.
Check out Publius Pundit for the latest updates. He has the advantage of being in the US, so can stay up later than us Euros…