Thousands in Belarus form ‘lines of solidarity’ in protest

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Crowds of protesters in Belarus swarmed the streets and thousands of workers rallied outside industrial plants 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 of Minsk, women formed long “lines of solidarity,” carrying flowers and portraits of their loved ones detained during protests. The human chains grew quickly and filled the main central squares and avenues. Motorists honked horns in support. Nearly 7,000 people have been detained and hundreds have been injured in the crackdown on protests that followed Sunday’s election. Official results said Lukashenko got 80% of the vote.