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Social Media Sites Blocked in Belarus on Independence Day

John Foxx/Stockbyte(MINSK, Belarus) -- Demonstrators in Belarus who were planning to use the internet to organize Independence Day protests came upon an obstacle Sunday, as the country reportedly blocked access to certain social networking websites.

Activists planned on staging an anti-government protest on Sunday in the form of clapping when President Alexander Lukashenko began delivering his Independence Day speech at the country’s independence celebrations.

Despite the online obstacle, some protestors gathered in the capital Minsk, on Sunday, to engage in protests, however, security forces acted swiftly and arrested several demonstrators.

Lukashenko described the protests as being a move to overthrow his government, according to published reports.

In a statement Friday the Belarus president said, “stomping, clapping, bellowing and roaring on squares and streets cannot solve problems and, what matters most, cannot earn money.”

July 3 marks the anniversary of the end of Nazi rule in Minsk, which ended in 1944.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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