MINSK, Belarus The opposition leader in Belarus says he hopes authorities understand that they want a peaceful demonstration.
Riot police have blocked off a central square in Minsk where opposition leaders planned a rally today. They've pushed away crowds in a massive show of force meant to quash persistent protests against President Alexander Lukashenko (loo-kuh-SHENG'-koh).
Yesterday, police broke up a tent camp that had been the base of protests for days. Many of the protesters were taken from the camp to a jail.
Protest leaders say if authorities don't let them gather in the central square, they'll look for another place.
There's been a call in Belarus for a new election after a vote that's been criticized in the West as deeply undemocratic.