Belarus workers, students start nationwide strike in new challenge to Lukashenko

·1-min read

Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya called for a nationwide strike to start on Monday to push for President Alexander Lukashenko's resignation. But the opposition is up against economic pressure and police violence. FRANCE 24's Gulliver Cragg reports from Minsk.

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Factory workers and students took to the streets on Monday as the Belarusian opposition started strike action against Lukashenko's regime, which has ruled Belarus for 26 years.

Few workers at the Minsk Tractor Factory wanted to discuss strike action. However, one worker there taking industrial action, Oleg, said that "80 percent of workers here are against the regime, but they’re afraid."

"We don’t have a proper trade union," Oleg contnued. "The only union we do have backs the president."

"I’ve not been arrested so far," said Stas, a student protesting in Minsk. "But anything can happen! It’s scary, very scary."

But another student, Katya, said "It’s not as scary as the idea of living under this government for years to come."

Click on the video player above to watch FRANCE 24's report.