Human Rights in Ukraine. Website of the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group
14.12.2003 | Igor Stoliarov, Odessa
Social and economic rights

New protest actions in Odessa


On 27 December the activists of opposition political parties and organizations again went into the Odessa streets. They protested against the recent increase of the tariffs for communal services. Today the special session of the city council was held in the building of the Palace of sailors. The session was guarded by militia cordons and a correspondent of radio „Liberty“ had many problems trying to get to the session. It appeared that journalist’s ID is not regarded as documents by militiamen. They obeyed only one law – the order of an official from the oblast executive committee…

The picket was organized by such public organizations as „Ukrainske bratstvo“, „Gromadskiy kontrol“, party „Batkivshchina“ and Ukrainian Republican party „Sobor“. They distributed the appeal among the deputies of the city council, in which they demanded to cancel the decision about the increase of the payments. One of the participants of the picket, Natalya Chaychuk, a deputy head of the oblast organization of the party „Reformy i poriadok“ , said: „Nobody proved that the tariffs for the communal services must be such. And the fact that the anti-monopoly committee lodged the request concerning this decision means that the decision of the local power was unauthorized. My reaction will be simple – I will not pay. My flat is privatized, and it will be curious to observe how Ruslan Bodelian will move people from their own flats. The policy of the local authorities does not meet the interests of the city dwellers“.

The picketers carried the slogans: „Odessa city administration is an enemy of people“, „Bodelian, why the fares in Odessa are higher than in other Ukrainian towns?“, „The Odessa city council is the vanguard of the genocide against the Ukrainian people“… Meanwhile, the deputies of MPs Eduard Gurvits and Andrey Shkil, with scandal and problems, managed to seep to the session. But in vain. The deputies of the city council did not cancel their resolution. Well, it was a quite original New Year present to the city dwellers!

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