Thousands in Belarus form 'lines of solidarity' in protest

Crowds of protesters in Belarus swarmed the streets and thousands of workers rallied outside industrial plants on Thursday (August 13) to denounce a police crackdown on demonstrations over a disputed election that extended the 26-year rule of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko. In several areas of the capital, Minsk, hundreds of women formed long “lines of solidarity." Many were dressed in white and carried flowers and portraits of loved ones who have been detained during protests that began shortly after Sunday's vote, which they said was rigged. The human chains grew quickly and by early afternoon filled the main central squares and avenues. Motorists honked in support. In Minsk and many other cities, thousands of factory workers also rallied against police violence, raising the prospect of strikes in a new challenge to the government.