Polish cultural institutions join #LightForBelarus-action

The Polish Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the Adam Mickiewicz Institute and the National Cultural Centre have initiated a support action for democracy in Belarus called #LightForBelarus, with a number of cultural institutions showing support for Belarusian civil society by illuminating their facades with the country’s historical white-red-white flag.

On Saturday, at 7 p.m., cultural institutions across Poland showed their support for the Belarusian nation’s struggle for a free and transparent presidential election following the presidential election which took place on August 9th and which was won by the incumbent president Aleksandr Lukashenko, but which is widely believed to have been rigged.

Many large national institutions have joined the initiative, including the Royal Castle in Warsaw and the Wawel Royal Castle in Krakow, while the facade of the National Stadium in Warsaw was illuminated with a legend saying “Solidarity with Belarus”.

Poland’s largest stadium, with a capacity to seat 58.500 viewers, wrote on its website that "the white-red-white flag has been a symbol of the struggle for a free and democratic Belarus for many years and is now frequently seen at demonstrations and protests. The flag was first officially introduced in 1918 and served as the official state flag of the Republic of Belarus between 1991 and 1995”.

Independent Belarusian writer and journalist Walery Kalinouski thanked Poland for the #LightforBelarus action, saying that by their actions, the Polish authorities are showing how solidarity between nations and close neighbours should look like.

Interviewed by Radio Svoboda, the journalist also stated “I think every sign and every word of support for Belarusian freedom is very important at this point. It is also important that it is support coming from Poland, because Poland initiated this path to freedom 40 years ago. And now we are striving to end this path here in Belarus. It is also important to recognise this historical white-red-white Belarusian flag. This is the national symbol under which Belarusians fought for their independence at the start of the 20th century”.