The annual concert "Solidarity with Belarus": Photos

Article published on April 3, 2008
Article published on April 3, 2008

This article has not been vetted by an editor at Paris HQ

Warsaw Castle Square hosted the annual concert "Solidarity with Belarus", which took place on March 30th, gathering Belarusian and Polish bands and musicians as well an impressive crowd. The concert and a demonstration before it marked the 90th anniversary of the proclamation of the People's Republic of Belarus.
Organizers wanted to send a signal to the Belarusian opposition that Poland has not forgotten the aspirations of the Belarusian people. The event was organized also to remind Poles that not much has changed in Belarus and it is still not a free nation.

concert1 It was third such an event in Poland, which attracts thousands of people supporting free Belarus. In 2006 the show was organised to support the Belarusian opposition before the presidential election. A year later Poles demonstrated their solidarity with their eastern neighbours on 25 March, the unofficial Belarusian Freedom Day , when the Belarusian democratic opposition organizes peaceful demonstrations in country's capital Minsk, usually crushed by Aleksandr Lukashenko's regime and resulting in arrests.

concert2 This years concert was organized under the slogan: "The native language of Belarusians - it is Belarusian". The organizers wanted to draw attention to the problem of neglecting the Belorusian language: closing down Belorusian newspapers, schools, omnipresence of the Russian language on the streets as well as in the public institutions. The event was accompanied by fundraising to support a Lyceum named after Jakub Kołas, the last school in Minsk teaching its curriculum in Belarussian.

At the end of the concert representatives of Tibet were invited to the scene and expressed solidarity of Belarus and Poland. The organizers hope the concert, broadcasted live to Belarus, was held in Warsaw for the last time. They are planning to stage the next show in Minsk.

Photos: Tomasz Kaczor

concert4 More: