The traditions of the Belarusian statehood date back to more than thousand years. Under different names, the independent Belarusian state has existed for many centuries.
The Belarusian Popular Front (Беларускі Народны Фронт) was a nationwide Belarusian democratic movement in the late 1980s and 1990s in favour of the Belarusian national revival and the restoration of the independence of Belarus as a democratic European nation.
The Belarusian Popular Front organized mass demonstrations supporting democratic reforms, commemorating the victims of the Soviet repressions of the 1930s, criticizing the inhuman Soviet policies regarding Chernobyl, and protesting against the Soviet discrimination of the Belarusian language and culture. In other Soviet-occupied countries, the Popular Front cooperated with local democratic movements: Sąjūdis (Republic of Lithuania), the People’s Movement of Ukraine, the Popular Fronts of Latvia and Estonia.
The Belarusian Popular Front has been the key driving force behind the political changes in Belarus in 1990 and 1991.
Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic actively condemns the violence by the police of the Lukashenka regime against citizens during peaceful demonstrations on March 25, 2017.
Official greeting to the anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic from US President George H. W. Bush, 1989.
In 1957, the Mayor of New York, Robert F. Wagner, declared March 25 the official Belarusian Independence Day and invited the people of his city to ” join with those of Byelorussian origin in prayers for peace, freedom and justice in the world”.
This has been the result of the work of the Belarusian diaspora in the United States in popularizing Belarus in the West, spreading information about the country’s history and current situation.
Below the text of the official proclamation.
OFFICE OF THE MAYOR OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK
WHEREAS: March 25, 1957 will be the thirtyninth anniversary of the Proclamation of the free and independent Byelorussian Democratic Republic; and
WHEREAS: Americans of Byelorussian descent are observing this date by reasserting their belief in freedom for all people and reaffirming their conviction that tyranny and despotism cannot long prevail where man so believs; and
WHEREAS: it is universally recognized that the resistance of the brave and patriotic Byelorussian people to communistic totalitarianism has never waned even to this day,
NOW, THEREFORE, I, ROBERT F. WAGNER, Mayor of the City of New York, do hereby proclaim Monday, March 25, 1957, as BYELORUSSIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY in the City of New York, and call upon all citizens to join with those of Byelorussian origin in prayers for peace, freedom and justice in the world.
(Robert F. Wagner)
Mayor, The City of New York
State of New York Executive Chamber
In 1984, the Governor Richard Lamm of Colorado made an official statement declaring 25 March the Belarusian Independence Day.
This and many similar statements by US officials were the result of many years long work by the Belarusian American community to popularize Belarusin the United States, to spread information about the Belarusian culture and history in the West.
Byelorussian Independence Day
March 25, 1984
Whereas, March 25th marks the anniversary of the proclamation of independence of the Byelorussian Democratic Republic; and
Whereas, the Byelorussian Democratic Republic was established following the collapse of the Tsarist Russian Empire but was subsequently annexed by the government of the Soviet Union; and
Official proclamation by New York Mayor Rudi Giuliani, declaring Belarusian Independence Day in New York on the anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in 1995.
In 1995, US President Bill Clinton issued an official letter to congratulate the Belarusian community in America with the Independence Day of the Belarusian Democratic Republic.
On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, President Dwight D. Eisenhower has sent his greetings to the Belarusian American community through Konstanty Mierlak, President of the Belarusian-American Association and Member of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic.
Presentation by Ivonka J. Survilla, President of the Rada of the Belarusian Democratic Republic in Exile, at the Conference of the Canadian Association of Slavists (Ottawa, 24 May 2009)
If the sovereigns of my land had been as wise as the emperors of China, they probably would have built a wall along their border with the Duchy of Moscow at the very beginning of her aggressions against their territory. Instead, exhausted by the defensive wars against their Eastern neighbours, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (the medieval predecessor of today’s Belarus), formed a defensive alliance with Poland. This happened in Lublin in 1569. 440 years later, I am speaking to you of the Government of the Belarusian Democratic Republic, which has been in Exile for the past 90 years. Once more – because of the expansionist policies of our Eastern “big brother”.
This presentation explores conditions that have affected Belarus’ existence since the early 20th century. Bolshevik aggression forced a legitimate Government into exile and required its existence beyond the borders of Belarus. In order to understand the present plight of this European nation, there is a need to consider the recent experiential history of Belarus and Belarusians.