THOUSANDS Of Protesters Storm Government Building After Rigged Elections in Belarus – Opposition Candidate Beaten to a Pulp
TENS OF THOUSANDS of democracy protesters tried to storm government buildings today in Belarus after the rigged elections for tyrant Alexander Lukashenko.
Belarus is the last standing dictatorship in Europe.
Opposition supporters attend a rally denouncing the results of presidential elections in Minsk, December 19, 2010. Police in Belarus dispersed an opposition march and beat its leader after an election on Sunday that a pro-government pollster said veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko won by a landslide. (REUTERS/Gleb Garanich)
The main avenue in Minsk was crowded with protesters.
Several independent media sites were reportedly hijacked during the election today.
Thousands of opposition supporters in Belarus tried to storm the main government building to protest what they claim was large-scale vote-rigging in Sunday’s presidential election, but they were driven back and beaten by riot police.
Dozens of protesters were injured in clashes with the police, left bruised and bloody after being beaten with clubs. An Associated Press reporter at the scene also was struck on the head, back and arm.
Up to 40,000 opposition activists rallied in central Minsk to call for longtime authoritarian leader Alexander Lukashenko to step down. It was the largest opposition rally since mass street protests against Lukashenko in 1996.
Protesters broke windows and glass doors, but were pushed back by riot police waiting inside the building, which also houses the Central Election Commission. Hundreds more riot police and Interior Ministry troops then arrived in trucks and sent most of the demonstrators fleeing. Some tried to hide in the courtyards of nearby apartment buildings, but were bludgeoned by troops waiting inside the courtyards.
By late Sunday, troops had surrounded about 2,000 protesters remaining on Independence Square.
Supporters carry presidential candidate Vladimir Neklyayev to his campaign headquarters after he was beaten during a rally in Minsk, December 19, 2010. Belarus police broke up a march by the opposition in the capital Minsk on Sunday and beat its leader Neklyayev, a Reuters eyewitness said. (REUTERS/Julia Darashkevich-BELARUS)
Thousands of police reinforcements were brought in to quash the massive protest:
UPDATE: New York Times reporter John Hill was beaten up during the protests by regime thugs.