MINSK -- Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has used most of the instruments in the dictator’s toolbox to repress his people. He’s beaten and jailed political opponents. He’s thrown student activists out of university. He’s established a monopoly on television and radio, and continually harasses the handful of independent journalists who work here.
On the evening of June 29, he employed a novel weapon: disco music.
This evening, over a thousand people were expected to converge on October Square in downtown Minsk as part of the latest in a series of weekly, Internet-driven protests. As the Belarusian economy faces the worst crisis since the early 1990s post-Soviet shock, these spontaneous, nonexplicitly political protests have entered their fifth week.
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